A study in contrasts…



Scripture: Psalm 147:10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner; 11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Observation: Here’s a note from these verses I wrote some years ago in my bible:

This passage, especially v. 11, seem to hold contrasting ideas in tension. It says that God takes pleasure in those who “fear him” and “hope in his steadfast love”. As I study what this means, it would seem that fearing the Lord is akin to having deep respect for God more than dread of God. I suppose this is similar to our relationship with parents in which children have respect for parents and also place hope in them. This prevents us believers from trivializing our relationship with God.

Application: How was your Christmas? Mine was a study in contrasts. Some parts of it were wonderful. I have so much to be thankful for, especially having all three kids home at the same time. Other parts were more difficult. As is true for most everyone, Christmas brings into focus the broken parts of me and my family. There is joy and there is pain – all in one day. But that’s life isn’t it?

And because life itself is a study in contrasts we can “hope in (God’s) steadfast love” (v.11). One expression of that hope is the birth of Jesus our Immanuel. Immanuel means “God with us”. In the midst of my joys and sorrows the Lord is present. For you. For me. For all who call on his name.

Prayer: Life is great. Life is hard. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

2 thoughts on “A study in contrasts…

  1. My Christmas???

    I am pleased to say that we had a house full of Jesus. The baby in the crib, the older foster child in her bunk… Two of the older children still live with us, and one of those who live elsewhere stopped in on us to help wrap and then open gifts. We had one, the US Marine, who spent his Christmas out of our nest, but thankfully not in one of our nations conflicts! We missed him. We went to the church’s candle light celebration a couple weeks ago and to the Christmas Eve service with family! We even filled an extra stocking in case a stranger joined us, AND WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT, GOD SENT US ONE! Thus we opened our home (God’s House, actually) to a sojourner, and gave him some seasonal cheer! But these are the parts that seem most meaningful and happy.

    As this is the Merry Season, any parts of any merit that are not happy tend to be amplified in sadness, and this was the case in our home too. One of our foster children, one who suffered to the point of death at the hands of his parents a few months ago, but whom God, the hospital staff, and our family successfully revived to LIFE and LOVE, was sent BACK to the people who hurt him just a few days before Christmas. We already had a stocking for that child, but no chance to celebrate the Holy Day with him, and the hearts in this house bore that heaviness too.

    That was our contrast, I think.

    Thanx for asking. It’s a blessing to share this load.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to you…


  2. Our God hopes and so we too can hope. This is what drives me through each day. Because from it comes deep peace and joy. Thank you so much for this measage today. Blessings Ernie.
    Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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