Psalm 81 – Sing

psalm-81-1aPsalm 81
Sing for joy to God our strength;

    shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
Begin the music, strike the timbrel,
    play the melodious harp and lyre.

Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon,
    and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival;
this is a decree for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
When God went out against Egypt,
    he established it as a statute for Joseph.

Today as we move to the spiritual realm in regards to our hunger, thirst, and taste, I pray that Psalm 81 will stir our taste buds to hunger and thirst for the joy of the Lord as he calls for the children of God to “sing for joy to God our strength.”

Now, not all of us can sing with the voice of Donnie McClurkin, Tasha Cobb or Chris Tomlin but we can all sing for the joy because we know that the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). We can all make an joyful noise as we praise the God who keeps us.  It’s the love of Jesus who lives in you. We sing with the voice of triumph because deep within us is joy that the world didn’t give and the world can’t take away. In spite of our many circumstances, we know our God to be the Sovereign, in control, and we have no doubt that our God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). 

When we rest in the Lord, even when weak, we are strong and because the power of God rests in us and upon us to make us strong. His grace is sufficient for our every need (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).

For some, it may seem as though there are trials dark on every hand and you feel shackled with a load of care and you really don’t remember the last time you really smiled. You have kept up a good front but deep down you are hurting and you have a taste for joy, for release, to truly smile deep down in your soul. The Lord speaks today with your answer.  He says sing for joy to God, our strength. Look past your circumstances and turn your eyes on Jesus and sing to Him. Sing of His love, sing of His character, sing of His grace, sing of His mercy, sing of His power, His righteousness, His faithfulness – Sing not just about Him but sing to Him…and the Spirit of God living in you will strength you with Jesus joy!

Just don’t just sing but this verse encourages us to shout aloud to the God of Jacob – Hallelujah! The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob and your God too.  He was a promise keeper then and He’s a promise keeper now!  He hasn’t failed in one word of one promise He has given. We can sing and shout aloud because the God who protected, sustained, and delivered the Israelites is still in the business of protection, still sustains, still provides, He still delivers today!  He is worthy of all praise honor and glory! When we are faithful to praise Him, we find that the joy He implanted in us when we accepted Him has Lord and Savior will rise up in us and nothing will be able to contain it.  You’ll be able to sing – I’ve got this joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart.  Storm clouds on the rise, trouble in my way, tears streaming down my face but I still have joy and refuse to lose my praise! 

Father, help us to always keep our spiritual taste buds salivating for the joy You died to give us!
Sing for joy to God our strength! My praise is still here!

 

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What do you have a taste for?

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Psalm 81

For the director of music. According to gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing praises to God, our strength.
    Sing to the God of Jacob.
Sing! Beat the tambourine.
    Play the sweet lyre and the harp.
Blow the ram’s horn at new moon,
    and again at full moon to call a festival!
For this is required by the decrees of Israel;
    it is a regulation of the God of Jacob.
He made it a law for Israel
    when he attacked Egypt to set us free.

I heard an unknown voice say,
“Now I will take the load from your shoulders;
    I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;
    I answered out of the thundercloud
    and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude

“Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings.
    O Israel, if you would only listen to me!
You must never have a foreign god;
    you must not bow down before a false god.
10 For it was I, the Lord your God,
    who rescued you from the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.

11 “But no, my people wouldn’t listen.
    Israel did not want me around.
12 So I let them follow their own stubborn desires,
    living according to their own ideas.
13 Oh, that my people would listen to me!
    Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!
14 How quickly I would then subdue their enemies!
    How soon my hands would be upon their foes!

As humans, there are certain experiences in life that are common to most of us and when they are spoken of, we can easily relate.  I am hoping you can relate to this one: there is an empty spot in your stomach and you have no doubt what it is – you are hungry.  You turn to your spouse or friend and say,
“Want to get something to eat, I’m getting a little hungry?”  The two of you agree about it being time to eat so the subject quickly becomes what to eat. 
One says to the other, ‘what do you got a taste for’ and the other responds, “I don’t know, what you got a taste for.” 
“Well, I had fish last night and chicken the night before, I don’t know what I’ve got a taste for, what do you have a taste for?
“Well, I don’t know, fish would have been good but since you had it last night, I don’t know, what I have a taste for.” 
Before you know it, you’ve wasted a lot of time and you are much hungrier because of the time lost trying to figure out what to eat.
The sad thing is that once you figure the meal out, sometimes it hits the spot and sometimes it doesn’t. You know that wasn’t it, the meal didn’t satisfy me like I thought it would have.  There is still a taste within me for something, I just don’t know what it is and I know I won’t be satisfied until my taste buds say, “now that’s it.”

We will look at Psalm 81 over the next of couple of days as we ask the Lord to show us His ways, teach us His paths, and help us understand our hunger, satisfaction, and taste buds. Not in the physical sense but in the spiritual.

The heading above this Psalm tells us that it was written to the Chief Musician or director of music and was to be accompanied with a lute which is a small 3 string harp, most likely a musical instrument manufactured in Gath.  The heading also lets us know that it was written by Asaph, one of the families given responsibility for music and song in the Temple (1 Chronicles 25:1-9). In fact, twelve of the Psalms are attributed to the family of Asaph. He begins by encouraging us to “Sing praises to God, our strength” and that is where we will start on tomorrow.

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Wisdom Wednesday

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Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday!
The blog on yesterday centered around Psalm 119 and the blessings of praying the Word remains with me. Today, I am praying God will our stir hearts around the great treasure of His Word and prayer once again. I pray that the Scriptures and quotes from my friend, A. W. Tozer will be a blessing to us all. Please leave a comment if so inspired by the Lord!

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The Word – 1
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The Word – 2

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart— Psalm 119:1-2

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The Word – 3
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The Word – 4

How sweet are your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts;
    therefore I hate every wrong path. Psalm 119:103-104

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The Word – 5
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The Word – 6

Yet you are near, Lord,
    and all your commands are true.
Long ago I learned from your statutes
    that you established them to last forever. Psalm 119:151-152

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The Word – 7
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The Word – 8

Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
    I keep your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
    but I delight in your law. Psalm 119:69-70

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The Word – 9
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The Word – 10

Deal with your servant according to your love
    and teach me your decrees.
I am your servant; give me discernment
    that I may understand your statutes. Psalm 119:124-125

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The Word – 11

Your word, Lord, is eternal;
    it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
    you established the earth, and it endures. Psalm 119:89-90

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The Word – 11

I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:10-11

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The challenge

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So the challenge in the sermon was to read the entirety of Psalm 119 and note the verses that I could pray for myself as I read the Bible each day. Prayer and The Word walk together in our transformation from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:16). In all honesty, I love the concept BUT realize a shortened approach would work best for me on today due to time constraints. After all, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses.

I cannot recite Psalm 119 word for word but I am well familiar with it and know that it is loaded with statements and commands that would bring great blessing, strength, and increase if only prayed. Sssssoooo, I am passing the challenge to you. The shortened portion I am using today is below. I will plan to do the entire chapter later, perhaps look for recurring themes and group together. 

Now, this is not just an one time, ‘pray today’ prayer but should be ongoing. Remember that one way to know that you are praying within the will of God is to pray His Word. Sssoooo for now…I pray you will join me in praying Psalm 119:33-40.

33 Teach me, Lord, the way of Your decrees,
    that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law
    and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of Your commands,
    for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward Your statutes
    and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
    preserve my life according to Your word.
38 Fulfill Your promise to Your servant,
    so that You may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
    for Your laws are good.
40 How I long for Your precepts!
    In Your righteousness preserve my life.

I realize that your time may not be constrained or another section speaks to your heart, please click the following line to read the entire chapter: Psalm 119.

Blessings and enjoy your day with the Lord!

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My soul is anchored…

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The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
    the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

Blessed is the Name of the Lord who is our safe place. There are times in the midst of trouble that we look for someone that we can trust and tell our deepest thoughts and even fears. We often run to our friends and family and then regret that we have done so. Please know that it is a great blessing to have a friend, sister, brother, mother, father that you can tell it all to and still feel safe and trust that they will not share with another living soul. Praise God and Hallelujah!

Just want to say that there is One that we can come to and He is worthy of all our trust and Who is a sure and certain safe place. His name is Jesus. We can take our burdens to the Lord and leave them there.

In the image above we can see that the storm is raging and the verse encourages us to be assured that those in the tower are safe. The tower protects them from the storm. Please note that it does not depict that there is not a storm. Rather, it is saying the storm does exist but the tower is greater.

So it is for the godly when the storms of life rage. The righteous are able to abide, remain in The Tower and be safe. We can trust the GREAT GOD I Am THAT I AM to be faithful to His Name and Word to be with us, meet our need, and keep us safe.

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10

“Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
    and He has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

“…be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5b-6

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” Isaiah 43:1-3a

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

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Jesus, the Name Above All Names

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“Therefore God has highly exalted him [Jesus] and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

“Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12

“He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Daniel 7:14

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“If I were you, I would go to God”

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Yet man is born to trouble

    as surely as sparks fly upward.

“But if I were you, I would appeal to God;

    I would lay my cause before him.

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,

    miracles that cannot be counted.  Job 5:7-9

Job 5:7-9 (the above verses) are more of my go to Scriptures when trouble insists on getting in my way. My husband use to work in a steel mill and he assures me that sparks do fly upward. Trouble does come our way. Sometimes it is the consequence of our own doing BUT many times, it is not. Trouble comes and I like to call it “life happens.” We live in a world that has been marred by sin. You don’t have to listen to the news, read the news, look at the notifications that come to our mobile devices long to understand that you don’t have to go looking for trouble, it will find you.

To me, the verses above speak this truth and what we should do about trouble in nutshell. Yes, trouble comes.It makes no difference if it is the consequence of our own doing or if it is the fact that “life happens” the remedy is always the same, “make our appeal to God, lay our cause before Him.”

One of the long ago songs by the Hawkins family says,”God is Standing By.” You don’t hear it much anymore but it spoke to my heart then and it speaks now.

“Everywhere you go there is trouble

Everywhere you go there is strife

Everywhere you go there is something that worries you

But remember (my God is standing by)

(Oh God is standing by), no need to cry

(God is standing near), no need to fear

Jesus, He’ll be right there, (He’s everywhere)

(Well let me tell ya)

(He’ll roll those dark clouds away) yes

(He’ll hear you when you pray) oh yes

(He’ll hear you when you call) yes

(He’ll catch you before you fall) oh yes

(Jesus, He’ll be your friend) yes

(He’ll guide you until the end)

My God is standing by

Remember, my God Is Standing By”

The remaining verses in Job 5 give us illustrations of the wonders and miracles of our God. His grace is sufficient for our every need (2 Corinthians 12:9). Job 5:8-16, NLT translation:

“If I were you, I would go to God
    and present my case to him.
He does great things too marvelous to understand.
    He performs countless miracles.

  • 10 He gives rain for the earth and water for the fields.
  • 11 He gives prosperity to the poor and protects those who suffer.
  • 12 He frustrates the plans of schemers so the work of their hands will not succeed.
  • 13 He traps the wise in their own cleverness so their cunning schemes are thwarted.
    14 They find it is dark in the daytime, and they grope at noon as if it were night.
  • 15 He rescues the poor from the cutting words of the strong, and rescues them from the clutches of the powerful.
  • 16 And so at last the poor have hope,
        and the snapping jaws of the wicked are shut. 

Amen! Hallelujah! These verses should stir the hope and joy that lives within the believer! God is with us and has all we need to overcome trouble even if the trouble is a consequence of our own doing. Let’s continue to read Job 5:

17 “But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin.

18 For though he wounds, he also bandages.

    He strikes, but his hands also heal.

19 From six disasters he will rescue you;

    even in the seventh, he will keep you from evil.

20 He will save you from death in time of famine,

    from the power of the sword in time of war.

21 You will be safe from slander

    and have no fear when destruction comes.

22 You will laugh at destruction and famine;

    wild animals will not terrify you.

23 You will be at peace with the stones of the field,

    and its wild animals will be at peace with you.

24 You will know that your home is safe.

    When you survey your possessions, nothing will be missing.

25 You will have many children;

    your descendants will be as plentiful as grass!

26 You will go to the grave at a ripe old age,

    like a sheaf of grain harvested at the proper time!

27 “We have studied life and found all this to be true.

    Listen to my counsel, and apply it to yourself.”

We know and understand that these are the words of Job’s friend, Eliphaz. Eliphaz was presumptuous in thinking that Job’s problems were disciplinary and all Job needed was an attitude correction. God gets this straight in the end, but what we need to see for today is Eliphaz’s wrong assumptions about Job does not negate his correct words regarding the character and attributes of our God, He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”

If trouble is in your way today, cry out to the Lord with sincerity of heart and behold His sufficient grace and mercy.

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If any of you lacks wisdom…

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And so the world beats on…some trusting in chariots, some in horses, some in self- while God has given us the divine privilege of trusting in Him. He alone is the Only Wise God our Savior (Jude 1:25). Why would we look to anyone or anything else other than the God who created, loves, and sustains us?

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 may help us. It says, “And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Verse 31, gives us one reason man would choose horses, chariots, self over the wisdom of God. We like to boast in ourselves, not God. Perhaps a little more of 1 Corinthians 1 can help us further:

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

What the world needs is the wisdom of God! Stop all the chatter, the lifting of man and his thoughts. We need to bow before the Holy God who is Wisdom in repentance, worship, and ask for Wisdom.  The result is promised: “…the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

I know none of you would know anything about this, but when I grew up and a child began to get just a little too smart, our mamas would say, “You better get over yourself.” We understood what that meant and attitude adjustments would take place.

It is time for man to “get over himself” and cry out for the grace, mercy, and Wisdom of God! There is no need to turn down the glorious promise God has given below:

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You see, the sun [Son] can break through the darkest clouds and make the difference if we would only ask with our faith in God!

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But You, O Lord

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Save Me, O My God

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

O Lord, how many are my foes!

    Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,  my glory, and the lifter of my head.

I cried aloud to the Lordand He answered me from His holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept, I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.

I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord!  Save me, O my God! For You strike all my enemies on the cheek; You break the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation belongs to the LordYour blessing be on Your people! Selah  Psalm 3

We have discussed it before, life sure enough comes with “stuff.” Living this side of glory includes some suffering. The enemy will rise up against us and the traitor, our flesh, will do all it can to push us into believing his report – that “there is no salvation for him in God (verse 2).”

For David, his foe was his own son. I can only imagine the pain and heartbreak of such high treason. Life has taught me that foes come in many shapes and sizes. Yes, sometimes people, sometimes even family, sometimes even our Christian brothers and sisters…but other times it’s sickness, finances, worry, fear, loneliness, deceit, brokenness, disappointment, lack, disease, addiction, rebellion, violence, our own lack of discipline, self…and on and on. No matter the who or what, the answer is always the same, “I cried aloud to the Lord, and He answered me from His holy hill. Selah” In my spirit, I hear a witness saying, “I know that’s right!”

Psalm 3 is one of my go to Scriptures for when the foes seem overwhelming and the battle is raging. Verse 3 is the one that brings strength and comfort for today, for no matter the foe “salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing be on Your people! Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,  my glory, and the lifter of my head.

These verses are my meditation and strong offense against the enemy’s fiery darts as he wages war against my mind. The Word in my mouth and heart and a song unto the Lord is therapeutic.

I remember the first time I heard the song, I Almost Let Go, by Kurt Carr. It brought me right to my feet for I could so identify with life’s pressures and the keeping power of our God! In fact, I often find myself giving God praise for being the Keeper of my soul and Lifter of my head. How blessed I am to be His child for my salvation belongs to Him! There are times I felt like giving up and fear had me bound but God’s grace and mercy kept me so I wouldn’t let go! 

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Scripture: Bible Gateway

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Wisdom Wednesday

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Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
4 …Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1,4-5

Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday! We will use verse 4b-5 as the basis for our Wisdom Wednesday on today. I pray the following Scriptures and quotes will be a blessing to your hearts and day! Please leave comment if so inspired by the Lord!

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Compassion 1
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Compassion 2

“The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.” Psalm 145:8

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Compassion 3

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Compassion 4
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Compassion 5

“The Lord is gracious and righteous our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, He saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116:5-7

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Compassion 6
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Compassion 7

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

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Compassion 8

“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11

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Compassion 9

Because he bends down to listen,
    I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:2

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Compassion 10

BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL!!!
SELAH!

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