Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

13 Pilgrimage of Praise Part 2

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Psalm 84:6-7, 10

6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. 7 They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. 10 A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

Psalm 84 reminds us that the Journey of worship is about the place, power, pursuit and also the:

  • Persistence vs 6

The psalmist says “When they walk through the Valley of Weeping” he doesn’t say if he says when. Verse 6 reminds us that in the pilgrimage of praise there will be pain, yet the trials are not just filled with tears but  teaching. Trials are on nearly every page of the Bible because they are common to every person regardless of their position. Sometimes we live in the unrealistic world of problem free praise believing that real Christians don’t have struggles. If some well-meaning person has suggested to you that Christians aren’t supposed to have trials, that we won’t get sick or shouldn’t experience sadness and loss, or feel a financial pinch, then you need to remind them to read the Bible. In this pilgrimage we are not just passing through we are praising through and we must never pretend that trials don’t exist. We have all passed through some Valleys of Weeping yet the scripture says that if the Lord is your Strength, and if your heart is set on the journey, you can see the Valley of Weeping become a refreshing spring. What to others is a place of bitterness can to you become a place of blessing and a place of growth. Instead of focusing on the trouble that trials bring we should see our trials as opportunities for training and even transformation. The tears of weeping are for a season but a refreshing spring keeps on flowing year after year. It might not always be apparent, but the opportunity for growth and blessing is always right there in the middle of the trial. Faith dares to dig blessings out of disaster. The truth is that there is no oil without squeezing the olives or wine without pressing the grapes, nor fragrance without crushing the flowers. The Valley of Weeping can become a refreshing spring in our life. Sure we all love the “mountain top” experiences, times of blessing and sunshine, yet that is not where the fruit grows. You won’t find many orchards on mountain tops, sure the view is nice up there, but the fruit grows in the valleys. It’s in the trials that God teaches and transforms, that the autumn rains clothe us with blessings. The question is, what will be your attitude? Do you see trials as teaching opportunities? Are you going to let that thing make you bitter or make you better? In the driest desert faith digs wells and discovers living water. Did Joseph see the whole picture of the opportunity that presented itself by his trial, sold into slavery by his brothers, carried off to a foreign land all alone? Falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and wrongfully imprisoned?! Could he have imagined in his wildest dreams that it would ultimately lead to him becoming Prime Minister of Egypt, and the one who would save his entire family? I’m quite sure he couldn’t have seen how God was going to use all his hardship to orchestrate such a wonderful outcome. But I do know that Joseph trusted in the hand of God, he had confidence in the One who does all things well. What about us, do we believe God’s Word, do we trust in Romans 8:28-29, that “All things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose”? In the pilgrimage of praise we will walk through the pain but we can persist and push on. Today would you P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens?

  • Patience vs 7

Sometimes in the pain and chaos we forget that God is in control. In your pain remember that God has not surrender His position on the throne. He cannot be usurped or defied just because of our difficulty. Psalm 84 reminds us of God’s promise that if I am (1) looking to God alone for my strength, and (2) if I’ve put my heart into the journey, and (3) I’m looking to see what opportunity God might have in every trial, then the sovereign God will do two things for me:

  1. He will direct my steps in strength – “They will continue to grow stronger”

This is the work of God in a person’s life, when you allow the Holy Spirit free reign, you will go from strength to strength. Today we want the strength without the surrender. We see the trials simply as times of suffering but He wants to bring us through them stronger.  I don’t want to just limp through life I want to laugh and love and live, by the grace of God I want to go from strength to strength! Today God wants to do that in your life but you need to submit to Him.

       2.       He will bring me through to the destination – “and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.”

The pilgrim Psalmist was longing to get to Jerusalem, to the House of God and here is the assurance, God will bring him through. Can you be sure that you’re going to make it all the way to Heaven? Can you really know? Absolutely, because the Bible says that God is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. Paul, in the last days of his life, wrote to Timothy, his son in the faith, not words of uncertainty but a powerful declaration: “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him until that day”. We are reminded that in the pilgrimage of praise we need to patiently wait on the Lord and the wait is worth it, “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else.” Today will you persist patiently in the pilgrimage of praise?

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