Rev. Dr. Billy Burch
A Timely Message
I heard a great message on Sunday. Great because it was the right thing at just the right time. When those two converge, you can’t help but remember what was said. It’s funny how God works. Whether you are listening to a sermon, or reading a devotional, God does something amazing. He meets you exactly where you are. What you need, He provides. When you take the step of faith to commune with Him, He shows His faithfulness. It happens over and over. And it is one of the things that gives me assurance that God is real and intimately involved in my life.
Back to the message. God knows what I need. He knows what happened yesterday, and knows what tomorrow will bring. So He connects the dots with His word to give us assurance, building our trust. Who knew I would need this message the day after, two days after, and yes, three days after? God knew. Hard meetings, difficult decisions, broken hearts, pending surgery, and a little discouragement. Have you ever felt that way? Has your day ever dealt that hand? God knows. And that is the best thing you need to know.
So what was the message? It came out of Psalm 128:1, which reads, “How joyful are those who fear the LORD- all who follow His ways!” Three words were skillfully highlighted in this passage: joyful, fear and follow. Isn’t it just like God to take words that you think have no relation, and bring them together like bees and flowers, pollinating our minds with His goodness?
Joyful was defined as living in a place between contentment and celebration. Yeah, that’s a good place. I want to be there.
Fear the LORD means to understand God’s place, and understand yours. God is king, we are His servants. He is to be worshiped, and us the worshippers.
Follow simply means entering into a relationship with Jesus, and through that, being a reflection of Jesus. In other words, we believe in Him, walk with Him and become more like Him.
We gain joy when we understand truly who God is, and who we are in relation to that. We gain joy when we enter into a relationship with Him and begin to look more like Him.
That’s the key to remaining joyful. Remember the Psalm next time you read James 1:2 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” There is a relationship between these two. Know that God is in control and you merely need to follow Him in all circumstances.
He is working for our good, and we must never forget that. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
It’s who God is, and how He works. May joy be a bigger part of your life as you fear Him, follow Him, and watch Him work…no matter the circumstances.