Echoes From the Campfire

Ours was a hard land, and it took hard men to ride it and live it, and the rules had to be laid down so all could read, and the lines drawn.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Killoe)

    “Fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.”
              –Philippians 2:2 (HCSB)
It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who stated, “All we have to fear is fear itself.”  Fear is a crippler; it causes us to hesitate and often stop our progress.  This Monday, we look at Psalm 34, a portion of Scripture that declares the Lord is our deliverer.  One way to see Him working in our lives is to begin to praise.  Praise Him for all of His marvelous works in the past, for His works in the present, and what He will do for you in the future.  Richard Baker said, “It is far better to be delivered from all our fears than from all our troubles.”

    1 – I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.
    2 – I will boast in the Lord; the humble will hear and be glad.
    3 – Proclaim Yahweh’s greatness with me; let us exalt His name together.
    4 – I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
    5 – Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.
    6 – This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles.
    7 – The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.
    8 – Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!
    9 – You who are His holy ones, fear Yahweh, for those who fear Him lack nothing.
   10 – Young lions lack food and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing. (HCSB)

    One thing we see here is that when we are hurt, when we are in despair, when all seems to be hopeless we are to cry out to the Lord.  We need to praise Him in the good times and in the bad.  Sunday mornings people will hop around and hopefully praise the Lord.  But what about that day when they are in the hospital bed, will the praises go forth then?
    David was in a difficult situation when he wrote the Psalm.  He was pretending to be insane, mad if you will, in the presence of Achish.  Have you ever felt like you were going crazy?  Then praise the Lord.  Have you felt the world pressing down upon you and there is no hope?  Praise the Lord.  And I could go on and on.  In other words in every situation, praise the Lord.  
    The Lord is there to rescue you from all your fears–real and imagined.  Listen, how can we ever praise God for deliverance if there first had not been something from which we needed rescue?  When there is no solution, what should you do?  Cry out to God, then praise Him.
    William Barclay said, “The early church was a singing church; it had happiness that made men sing.”  In the early Methodist revivals, it was said that you could walk down the street and point at the homes where the Methodist lived because of the singing coming from the house.  Hmmm, is that true today?  Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between “church music” and the music of the world.  What type of song comes from your lips?  From your heart?

         “O magnify the Lord with me; with me exalt His name;
          When in distress to Him I called, He to my rescue came.
          The Hosts of God encamp around the dwelling of the just;
          Deliverance He affords to all who in His goodness trust.”
                        –Nahum Tate