Fearing and Trusting

He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

You don't have to go very far these days to hear or read about the bad news. From the economy to increasing violence in the cities and schools to an overall moral decline in society, there's plenty of bad news to go around. And often, it's tough not to let it all get you down.

But the one who trusts in the Lord has something else going in his favor: a bedrock belief that come fire or flood, God is in command. Period. He doesn't deny that there are very bad things happening in the world around him, but he chooses to trust in God instead.

So, whenever you pick up the doom and gloom newspapers or turn on the nightly news, pray that God will give you clarity to see that ultimately the Lord is who we should be fearing and trusting.

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Remembered Forever

Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. Psalm 112:6

O that there were an army of equipped and passionate Believers marching across the land in defense of Godly causes and the Gospel. How would our world be different if we had unshakable faith and an unquenchable thirst for righteousness? What would that look like in our day and age?

And yet, there are many, even those reading this, whose faith is solid and strong, who cares not what the world says or thinks, but does he or she knows to be right. You don't get a lot of credit or "glory" now, but you will. Later. I suspect that there are even those who have done a world of good and just want to give up or give in because you think your righteousness is in vain and no one is noticing. Corruption and envy and greed and selfishness and blatant Godless living abound around you and life just isn't fair. Even Believers around you are falling. You want to give up fighting and just "go along to get along."

Take heart, my friend, take heart! Your righteousness will be rewarded. Your labors and toils and sufferings are not in vain. You have been called to do what you're doing and you mustn't give up.

Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever.

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Generosity and Justice

Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Psalm 112:5

How would our lives change if we sought to practice generosity and justice in everything we did? I believe the results would be astounding.

Being generous is fairly easy to accomplish, and it goes beyond “not being stingy.” Generosity is ungrudgingly giving something that you have to others so that they are more comfortable. It can be deal with money, food, service, time, and material goods. Of course you can even expand it to being generous with your knowledge and wisdom. As I said, generosity is easy.

Justice is a little trickier. It’s tricky because it’s not as obvious as generosity. The opposite of justice is injustice or unfairness, and we can usually spot that (people being abused, mistreated, or cheated come to mind). In today’s verse, conducting your affairs with justice seems straightforward. Honesty. Integrity. Doing what’s right.

Former Senator Alan Simpson from Illinois said this, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”

That’s a fair assessment of justice in business dealings, don’t you think?

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Take a Peale Pill!

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Psalm 112:4

When I was in high school I played the character of General Bullmoose in the play “Lil' Abner.” I told my secretary, “I'm not taking my Peale pills. They make me think…too positive.” The reference is to Norman Vincent Peale, the famed optimist. The optimist referred to in this verse is not merely optimistic for the sake of being up, but he's displaying the quality of his moral character.

I'll admit it, life can get you down, especially in the times we’re in now. But too much of the negative news will just wear you down completely. I think we need to guard against that. I don't say that we need to be a Pollyanna or swallow giant-sized Peale pills, but it's important to keep a healthy perspective.

Such as?

God is in control; we're not. God is not caught off guard by events. And God will give us the grace to handle anything life throws our way.

So, anyone for a bite-sized Peale pill?

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Burdensome or Blessing?

Wealth and riches are in his house; and his righteousness endures forever. Psalm 112:3

This is a verse that refers back to the previous two verses. Because a man fears the Lord, he has great wealth and riches, and it may very well be that his children are the source of those “riches.” Let me put it another way. Have you ever known a person with many children to be unhappy about it? I’ve personally known two families with 10 and 12 children each, and the parents couldn’t be more pleased with their decision to have that many children. Sure, the kids run them ragged but they are having the time of their lives raising them. They truly are wealthy families, though, as I recall, they didn’t have a lot materially.

So legacies are lived out through the children, and through their children’s children, and so on. The children may not turn out exactly like the parent had wanted, and may very often disappoint, but the legacy will still live on.

On the other hand, many parents consider their kids to be a burden, sadly. They don’t view them as the “riches” that they are, only that they are a drain on time and finances. I don’t claim to be an expert on the matter, but it’s not hard to spot someone who is not enjoying life with his children. I’m afraid that twenty years from now those same people will regret that they didn’t appreciate their kids more.

So, are children burdensome or a blessing? It’s probably an important question to ask as the kids grow up.

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