Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms


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Refuge in Him

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
PSALM 2:12

Outside of Christ, we are refugees in need of a refuge. Our soul seeks asylum in Almighty God. Our spirit is on a search for security and peace. Deep within our innermost desires, we want refuge in God. Otherwise we wander around earth untethered to truth. Away from heaven we’re refugees. We need a secure place, and Jesus is our sanctuary.

Even if your faith is as slender as a spider’s thread, you can still trust in Jesus. The object of your faith matters more than the amount of your faith. His refuge isn’t just for the robust of faith—it’s especially available to those of us flailing away in doubt and fear. We’ve lost our way, and we need wisdom to map out our faith. When we take refuge in Him, we’re blessed with clarity and conviction. The Spirit is our shelter.

“I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’” (Psalm 91:2).

He’s our refuge when hope seems extinct. He’s our refuge when financial obligations are ravishing our resources. He’s our refuge when people we depend on are nowhere to be found. He’s our refuge when health issues weigh us down. He’s our refuge when fear tests our courage. He’s our refuge when our marriage hangs in the balance. He’s our refuge when work pressures pulsate in our mind and awaken us at night. He’s our refuge when all seems to be going wrong. He’s our refuge when all seems to be going right. God is our refuge.

We’re blessed when we find refuge with our Creator. The Almighty supplies us with wisdom and understanding when we take time to listen to His instruction. Our prayers over His Word open our hearts to illuminating insights. The place of refuge holds up truth and casts out lies. Stability is another blessing from resting in His refuge. Our world rocks around us, but we have a rock in our Lord. He’s not a suspension bridge that sways with the winds of the world’s unpredictability. Nothing about our Savior is shaky.

“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).

How can I take refuge in God and His loving-kindness? What results from resting in Him?

Related Readings
Exodus 33:22; Psalm 46:1-3; Isaiah 25:4; Jeremiah 16:19

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Peace of Mind

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
PSALM 3:5-6

Peace of mind comes from our Master Jesus. He masterfully puts our mind at ease with His eternal perspective. Trust in Him gives us tranquil thoughts. Without His peace, we worry and fret. A mind without peace is paralyzed by the thought of everything going awry. What can go wrong will go wrong because the odds are stacked against us. Without the peace of Christ, we find ourselves with an overwhelming sense of dread, even despair. In Christ we have peace.

Jesus isn’t stingy with His peace. He gives it liberally and lovingly.

Beware of the fleeting peace the world offers. It’s a cheap substitute. The world’s peace is circumstantial. God’s peace transcends circumstances. The world’s peace is temporal. His peace is eternal. The world’s peace leads you away from God and reality. His peace leads you to engage with both. The world’s peace produces a limited perspective. His peace results in a view of life that’s robust and real. The world’s peace cannot remove fear. His peace overcomes fear with faith.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (John 14:27).

Once you apply the peace of Christ, you have peace of mind. Peace of mind gives you a platform for living purposefully. Because you live with purpose and peace, you garner influence with others. People are attracted to the peaceful. They want to learn how to find peace and apply it to their life circumstances.

Your friends or family may not acknowledge it, but your peace is proof of God’s existence. Peace is a powerful apologetic for the Almighty. Your calmness during crisis can only be explained by Christ. Because you lean on Him, others want to lean on you.
Use your peace of mind as a gauge for God’s will. If you have peace, proceed; if you lack peace, be cautious. God’s peace is a green light to go forward. The absence of His peace is a red light to refrain. Therefore be sensitive to the Spirit’s peaceful prodding to go or stay. Either way you’re okay as long as the Lord’s peace is preeminent. Peace calms your mind and enables you to think clearly. Peace positions you for wise thinking.

“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Why does Jesus want me to access His peace? How does His peace guard my heart and mind?

Related Readings
Isaiah 26:3; John 16:33; Romans 16:20; Ephesians 3:19

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Chosen by God

Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.

God chooses His children for Himself. Our relationship with our Lord is all about Him. It’s all about His desires, His pleasures, His vision, His goals, His will. When we came to God, we came empty-handed, clinging only to the cross of Christ. In our surrender to our Savior we emptied ourselves and received Jesus. We went from self-sufficient to God-dependent. We went from ungodly to godly. We went from an impersonal relationship with a distant God to an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. God chose us for Himself.

The Lord wants you to know and follow His heart. He owns your life. You may be struggling with traveling overseas for the sake of His cause, although Jesus clearly commands us to go into all the world and make disciples. Or you may be too busy to build a relationship with your neighbors. But your sensitive Savior implores you to love those around you. You’re at His disposal to carry out His desires.

“Love the LORD, all his faithful people!
The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full” (Psalm 31:23).

God offers a clear channel of communication for His children. He hears when we call to Him. Prayer isn’t passive for our heavenly Father. He’s interested in our intense circumstances and our heartfelt fears. He listens to and answers our prayers. It’s not always the answer we think we need. Whether He answers yes or no, He defines His will for us. We have no need to fear, for our heavenly Father is near.

The more we constantly converse with Christ, the more boldly we’ll speak to people. Prayer is a purging and a preparation. It’s God’s platform to launch us into fields that are ripe for harvest. It’s a preparation for engagement in the lives of people. Prayer fills us with love so we can be emptied of love. We’re chosen by God. What He chooses He makes holy. Without holiness we cannot see our Savior. Because He was poured out, we are sold out!

What does it mean to be set apart for the Lord? How does God preserve His people?

Related Readings

Psalm 18:25; Micah 7:7; 1 Timothy 4:7; Revelation 2:10

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional

The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.
PSALM 7:16

Troublemakers tend to self-destruct. There’s no need to get worked up over their acts of deception. They’re dishonest. They lie when the truth will suffice. The harm they intend to inflict on others comes back to hurt them. Troublemakers attempt to discredit those they’re jealous of and in the process discredit themselves. Troublemakers conceive elaborate plans with evil intent. It’s all about them and their agenda. They can easily tell you one thing and do another. In their mind the desired outcome justifies the polluted process.

Beware of troublemakers, but don’t urge them on with too much attention. Keep an eye on them, but don’t be consumed by them. Stand up to them in the right spirit without crushing their spirit. They’re totally insecure and fearful but afraid to admit their insecurities. Because their acceptance is based on performance, they’re always looking for ways to impress others.

It’s not what we do that keeps us secure; it’s who we are and whose we are. In Christ we have all we need.

“As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it” Job 4:8

Trust God with troublemakers. You’re not their judge and jury. He will handle them in His timing and in His way. We have our own sins to confess and repent of on a regular basis. Our sins may not be as blatant, but they’re still present. We may not sin in such a pronounced manner as a troublemaker; nonetheless we still struggle with dishonesty and deception. It may be on a smaller scale, but we still weigh in as one who struggles with being a troublemaker.

So let’s contrast the life of a troublemaker by being a blessing maker. Let’s be a blessing instead of a curse. Let’s extend consolation instead of consternation. Let’s focus on giving instead of taking. Let’s be a solace instead of a pain. Let’s serve instead of being served. Let’s encourage instead of discourage. Kill them with kindness, and watch God turn their hearts toward Him. Give them the respect they never had, and they may begin to respect themselves. God’s grace can change troublemakers into blessing makers. We are proof!

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2).
How can I become more of a peacemaker? How can I love troublemakers?

Related Readings
Psalms 9:15; 35:7-8; Proverbs 11:18; 26:27; Hosea 8:7; Galatians 6:7-8

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Lips of Children

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

The lips of children lift up the greatness of God in praise and adoration. Children don’t know any better than to believe God and take Him at His word. They are trusting and pure in their devotion. In Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, children embraced His coronation. They shouted “Hosanna in the highest.” Humility praises Jesus, but pride is silent. Humility invites Jesus, but pride is threatened by Jesus. Humility wants to sit in His lap, but pride rejects His affection.

Children live in a constant state of dependence. They depend on their parents for food, clothing, and shelter. Children look to their parents to teach them about God and religion. Parents are a plethora of resources for their children. Boys and girls depend on Mom and Dad for understanding what they do well and how they can best excel. Parents are a warehouse of wisdom for their offspring. Wise children learn from and depend on their parents. They’re dependent.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Our relationship with God is no different. We’re His children in desperate need of His direction. We may spurn His discipline at times, but we come back because we know He’s what we need. We need His wisdom. We need His forgiveness. We need His comfort, love, and hope. We need His patience to work effectively with people. We need His security found in Christ. We need His courage in crisis. We need His grace in the middle of criticism. We need His humility to defeat our pride.

Children are the conscience of adults. They remind us of our dependence on Jesus. We’re but a grain of sand on the seashore of humanity. Jesus is Lord of all, and we serve and worship Him alone. The lips of children naturally lift up the glory of God. And we do so supernaturally by the Holy Spirit’s power. We cannot keep quiet because of His lavish love and abundant grace. It’s in our childlike faith that God reveals Himself. We’re God’s child; therefore we praise Him!

“Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children’” (Luke 10:21).

What is childlike faith? Why is childlike faith required for daily trust in God?

Related Readings
Matthew 17:20; 19:14-15; 21:5; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29; 1 Peter 2:2

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day
Naive Expectations

He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
PSALM 10:6

There’s no such thing as a trouble-free life. To think otherwise is naive, presumptuous, and proud. Pride does this. It instills false confidence and unrealistic expectations. A man thinks himself immutable and omnipotent to conclude he’ll always be free from adversity. Jesus said just the opposite. He taught that we’re not of this world, therefore the world will hate us. This is not an invitation to a life of ease, but a guarantee of conflict. The naive pronounce an out-of-control optimism not based in reality. There’s no way to totally shield ourselves from pain.

An opulent home or outrageous bank account can never keep us from suffering. Wealth sets us up for disappointment. Boasts are not buttresses, and self-confidence is a sorry security. Our confidence is in Christ, not in our ever-changing life of uncertainty. He is immovable and immutable. We vacillate. We change. We struggle, doubt, and fear. When life happens and the bottom falls out, we have a solid foundation in our Savior. He sustains us!

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Pride, on the other hand, brews naive expectations. This is the ruin of fools. When they succeed, their confidence bloats out of control. There needs to be a dose of humility that brings them back into the realities of everyday life. Engagement in the lives of others leads us to a more fulfilling life. Our success sets us up to serve others. To give back is to govern like God. This is what He expects. Godly expectations lead us down the road of service and selflessness.

So instead of insulating our lives from danger and risk, we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. We ask, what does God think? Will this opportunity contribute to my spiritual growth? How does my spouse weigh in? What’s best for my family? What will give me the most leverage for the Lord? We seek to align our expectations with eternity. It’s a continual process of dying to ourselves and coming alive for the Lord. We should not expect a life of ease, but a life of obedience.

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12-13).

How can I align my expectations with God’s? What does persecution look like for the godly?

Related Readings
Isaiah 47:7; Daniel 4:34-37; John 15:19; Revelation 18:7

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Stand Steadfast

In the LORD I take refuge.
How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.”
PSALM 11:1

There’s a time to stand steadfast and a time to flee. Make sure your motive for either is based on trust. Don’t allow others to persuade you to run and hide when you need to stand and fight. Having faith in God may mean engaging in some uncomfortable activities. Don’t run off just because you’re afraid of being roughed up. Anybody can leave, but faith in God implores you to stay. Stand steadfast with your Savior. Trust Jesus when tempted to flee.

One of Satan’s schemes is distrust. If he can get us to lose faith in our heavenly Father, he can influence our decision making with foolish thoughts. Satan is patient. He knows a little incremental doubt can lead to a large amount of distrust. Bad advice can be deceptive on the surface. This moment of decision is an opportunity for your faith to intersect with God’s faithfulness. If you run, you’ll miss refuge in Christ. Therefore stand steadfast.

Like the religious leaders who made fun of Jesus, some may say, “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now” (Matthew 27:43).

Stability comes from standing steadfast with our Savior. Distrust, however, is like a frightened bird. It flutters here and there with no aim other than reacting to every distraction. There’s nothing significant about a sparrow running scared. Anybody can run and hide in the face of difficult people or challenging circumstances. Does our life reflect total trust, or is our faith one of convenience? Strong faith stands steadfast.

Use this time of turmoil to trust the Lord even more. His calling hasn’t changed. Stand steadfast. Stand steadfast in Him, and you’ll stand steadfast in your marriage. Stand steadfast in Him, and you’ll stand steadfast in your vocation. Stand steadfast in Him, and you’ll stand steadfast in your purity. Stand steadfast in Him, and you’ll stand steadfast in your friendships. Stand steadfast in Him, and you’ll stand steadfast in your church. It’s easy to leave when everyone else is fleeing. Nevertheless, we’re convicted to stand steadfast and trust Him.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Why does truth give me spiritual stamina? What truth do I need to believe and apply?

Related Readings
Psalms 51:10; 112:7; Proverbs 4:26; Philippians 4:1; 1 Peter 5:10

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Flawless Words

And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.
PSALM 12:6

The words of the Lord are flawless. There’s no dross in Christ’s conversation. Men lie, but He is truth. Men deceive, but Jesus enlightens. Men flatter, but the Lord edifies. Men selfishly boast, but Jesus gives the glory to God.

Words can be wonderful or terrible, depending on their source. The Lord’s words are rooted in righteousness. You can trust what God says. His words are appropriate and applicable. It’s the words of heaven that make earth better.

The words of the Lord have stood the test of time. They’ve been tried by fire and have come forth faithful. The Holy Scriptures have received considerable criticism; some “scholars” have stripped them of miracles. Jesus warned there are severe consequences for adding to His Word (Revelation 22:18); God’s Word does not need help. His words have survived the ravishing of faithless liberalism and loveless legalism. The Bible has been burned, belittled, and ignored. Nonetheless the Holy Scriptures are translated into more languages today than ever in the history of mankind. They’ve stood the test of time.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but [Christ’s] words will never pass away” (Luke 21:33).

So take the Lord’s flawless words by faith. Read them daily and apply them moment by moment. Study them and struggle with them. Seek to understand the context of the Bible and why God chose to speak specific infallible words through fallible followers. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Holy Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21). The pen of men moved under the instruction of divine inspiration. We have a stewardship of truth. Scripture is our handbook for holiness and happiness.

We honor and value His words when we take them to heart. We listen for instruction in our obedience. We listen for encouragement. We listen for rebuke. We listen to the Lord’s flawless words because we know we’re loved by Him. We have infinite access to wisdom. Like a precious jewel, the clarity and form of Christ’s words are flawless and invaluable. They’re matchless compared to man’s meager trinkets. By God’s grace we apply His flawless words to our flawed lives.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).

How does God’s Word light my path through life? What evidence is there that the Lord’s words are flawless?

Related Readings
2 Samuel 22:31; Psalms 12:6; 18:30; Proverbs 30:5; Hebrews 4:12

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Grateful for Good

I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.
PSALM 13:6

God has been good to us. His goodness is liberal and long lasting. His goodness is far reaching. Because He is God, He is good. Nothing soils the character of our Savior. The salvation we have in Jesus is good. The comfort we have in Christ is good. His wisdom is good. His answers to prayer, His forgiveness, and His grace are good. Heaven is good. We sing to the Lord because His goodness compels us. God’s goodness accounts for all goodness we experience.

Gratitude gushes forth from a heart that has been tamed by the goodness of God. God has been good to us. The recognition of His goodness governs our gratitude. To the extent we remember how good God is to us, we’ll appreciate our everyday life. Maybe He has given us a good job, good health, good sense, a good house, and a good family. It’s the grace of God that allows us to experience His goodness. When we linger under the cross of Christ, we encounter the shade of His goodness. God is so good to us!

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16).

When we’re under the bright light of God’s goodness, any bad influence is blinded. Gratitude and a bad attitude cannot coexist. Take the time to list what good things the Lord has done for you. Keep your list close by so when you’re tempted to complain over trivial issues—traffic, someone’s tardiness, waiting in line, not getting what you want—you can apply gratitude. Passion may possess an unbridled body, but patience controls a grateful soul. The Lord’s goodness calls us to be good.

Goodness gives off goodness, rubbing off on others. God’s goodness infects us so we can infect others with our good deeds. We’re good to others because God has been good to us. Our goodness does not discriminate—we’re good to others even when they’re undeserving. Be patient with the one who doesn’t deserve patience. Love the one who doesn’t deserve love. Forgive the one who doesn’t deserve forgiveness. Be grateful for God’s goodness!

“The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:9).

How has the Lord blessed me? What does it mean to praise God for His goodness?

Related Readings
Psalm 73:28; Micah 6:8; Mark 10:18; Philippians 2:13; 1 Timothy 4:4

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
God Is Present

There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.
PSALM 14:5

God is present in your predicament. You don’t have to pray, “God be with us”; He’s there already. He’s there because He cares. He’s there because you are extremely valuable to Him. God cherishes His children. He loves to give His own good gifts (Matthew 7:11). His presence alone is a present. He’s present to give wisdom. He’s present to give you direction. He’s present to give you courage. In His presence there is peace. He is ever present.

God’s presence is there to calm and convict us. His peace is what propels us forward by faith. Don’t give up on doing the right thing. Sinful compromise for short-term satisfaction never ends well. Why put your family at risk by running after forbidden fruit? God hasn’t left you. He doesn’t wink at wicked deeds. He’s right by your side to see you through this sinful temptation. Indeed the fruit of His presence is the fear of God. He reminds us to remain pure.

“How then could I [Joseph] do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).

His presence is made manifest in a company of Christ followers. In community, the body of Christ is in full expression. Sin pushes us to seclusion. It’s an illusion to think we can isolate ourselves from Almighty God. But in authentic community there’s nowhere to hide. In the presence of committed Christ followers, we feed our faith. Don’t fight temptation alone. Tell someone. Stay engaged with the righteous. This is the presence of God personified.

Stay in the presence of God-fearing followers. This time of engagement with others facilitates our alone time with our heavenly Father. Stay hard after your heavenly Father in solitude and prayer. His presence is inviting you into intimacy. Design your life around a daily retreat into His presence. Look into His face and feel His love. In His presence He provides just what we need in the moment. Therefore persevere in prayer without ceasing. Be present in His presence!

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

What does it mean for the Spirit to be ever-present? How does the Spirit strengthen my spirit?

Related Readings
Genesis 4:16; Numbers 20:9; Jeremiah 52:3; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 9:24

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Heart Probe

Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.
PSALM 17:3

God’s Spirit is interested in probing our heart. He knows the heart is the source of our speech and conduct. If our heart goes unexamined, we drift into a sick state of denial. We lose touch with reality and relegate others into our wrong thinking.

A healthy heart keeps us honest and engaged. It’s the tender touch of Jesus that reminds us to look inward. Our heart can be a hindrance or a help to wise living. So how do we exercise the Spirit’s probe?

A heart probe by God doesn’t happen accidentally, but intentionally. Just as we daily determine to take care of the physical dimension of our heart, so also we’re instructed to exercise our spiritual condition. We cannot spend all our time doing the work of God while ignoring the voice of God. Good works from an unguarded heart give only an illusion of selfless service. Our works cannot resolve a conflicted heart. Under the Holy Spirit’s probe we see our true selves. In these moments of discovery we invite God’s grace to strengthen our conflicted hearts.

“It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace” (Hebrews 13:9).

Our words, or the lack thereof, are evidence of what dwells in our heart. Sometimes the Holy Spirit checks our heart and moves us to silence. Trust transcends whatever trouble we face, and we exhibit long-suffering with the Lord and His people. This is a heart of faith. At other times the Spirit prompts us to speak up. We may be unclear of the outcome, but He gives us the courage to converse. This is a heart of boldness. Whether in silence or in speech, we submit to the Holy Spirit to govern our heart.

Your heart probe can come in a variety of ways. It may be a prescription of perpetual prayer that penetrates your heart with grace and forgiveness. It may be the treadmill of trust that builds endurance and creates within you a stronger heart of faith. Sometimes our Savior’s stethoscope of conviction discovers sin that needs confession and repentance. A Spirit-probed heart produces right speech, spoken the right way. Intimacy with the Almighty hinges on a healthy heart.

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10).

What heart motives is the Spirit probing in me? How can I be strengthened by God’s grace?

Related Readings
2 Chronicles 6:30; Proverbs 22:11; Jeremiah 20:12; Revelation 2:23

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Trust Perseveres

For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.
PSALM 21:7

Trust in God perseveres. It perseveres the higher it goes in responsibilities or the lower it goes in lost opportunities. Whether in the excitement of promotion or the discouragement of demotion, it still trusts God. In fact the more responsibility we gain, the more we need God. The more capable it seems we are, the more we realize we’re incapable without Christ. Power tempts us to trust ourselves, but more power means more trust in God. Faith in the Lord’s love perseveres.
Trust perseveres because it’s buoyant in its belief in the unfailing love of God. The love of God stands secure in the face of suffering. The love of God licks the wounds of a lacerated soul. The love of God provides grace to forgive and forget. It continues in the face of ugly odds because the love of God knows what we can hope for in Christ. God’s love draws us into intimacy with Himself. The Lord is trustworthy!

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10).

No one is higher than Almighty God. He is the Most High. We have the privilege, the opportunity, and the obligation to go right to the top. The Holy Spirit is God’s gatekeeper. And by faith we can trust Him to intercede on our behalf. Our faith may be faltering in our confusion, but Christ clarifies. Don’t give up because of the complexities of your current situation. Seek the Most High. He is wisdom. Trust perseveres.
The fruit of trust is perseverance. The lethal winds of adversity may attempt to uproot your faith but you persevere. Persevere in your marriage though culture gives you a pass for divorce. You persevere in your job even if you were passed over for someone less qualified. You persevere as a parent because this may be your time to mature. Allow Him to grow your character—to love you through this time of transition. Trust perseveres by God’s unfailing love!

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life” (Psalm 143:8).

How can the Lord’s unfailing love lead me through turbulent times? What is the fruit of perseverance?

Related Readings
Psalms 6:4; 13:5; Proverbs 20:6; Lamentations 3:32; Hosea 10:12; James 1:12

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Trust Required

Yet you brought me out of the womb, you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
PSALM 22:9

God requires us to trust from our birth. In the beginning we’re totally dependent on others. God uses doctors, nurses, and midwives to navigate us out of the birth canal. There’s nothing we could do to gain access into this life other than wait on the warm embrace of others.
God Himself worked to bring us into the world. He conceived us and brought us out of our mother’s womb. God stamped on our infant soul, “Trust in Me is required.”

We were born desperately needy. The milk from our mother’s breast sustained our life. She was our lifeline. She was the nurturer we trusted without reservation. In the same way, we depend on the milk of God’s Word. We’re babies in need of the elementary principles of the faith. At the genesis of our faith we were infants who drew life from our Savior Jesus. We trusted Him totally as our redeemer and refuge. Trust was required then and is still required now.

“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness” (Hebrews 5:13).

In this life we never graduate from our Savior’s school of trust. We’re there until we graduate to heaven. It’s a required course for Christ followers. He loved us in our infancy, and He doesn’t cast us off in our riper years. He was our God when we left our mother, and He’ll be our God when we return to mother earth. Be glad that God requires trust in Him. Trust connects us to Christ. The closer our walk with Jesus, the higher our level of faith.
In all relationships, trust is required. Don’t replace trust in others with skepticism because of the few who’ve fractured your faith in people. If you trust God, you can trust others. Little faith in God leads to little faith in people. A big faith in God thinks the best of others. Don’t be defensive with your spouse or co-workers. Trust them until they cannot be trusted. Trust facilitates trust. A robust and growing relationship with Jesus and people requires trust.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

What’s the result of total trust in God’s trustworthiness? How can I grow in righteousness?

Related Readings
Psalms 37:5; 118:9; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 8:17; John 14:1; Acts 14:23

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Trust Overcomes Fear

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
PSALM 23:4

Fear engages an ongoing assault on our heart and mind. If left unchecked fear can whip our imagination into a frenzy of anxiety. Though only an ounce of whatever we fear may come to pass, we tend to give it a ton of attention. It’s madness when we’re overcome by fear. It may be fear of death that dilutes our faith. It may be fear of failure that drives us to control. It may be fear of losing a job that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We’re not alone in our fears. Jesus walks with us through our valleys. He may not deliver us out of the valley, but He most assuredly never abandons us there. He walks with us through the valley of doubt. He walks with us through the valley of shame. He walks with us through the valley of transition. He walks with us through the valley of disease. He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. A shadow assumes a light, so Christ is there to guide us. Trust overcomes fear.

“Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud” (Psalm 40:4).

Pain can create insecurity and confusion. But no amount of pain can separate us from the love of God. Pain may smother our soul, but we don’t give up on God. We immerse ourselves in the psalms where David sometimes drowns in doubt, but by faith wisely lifts his soul to the Lord.
No one suffers well alone. Through the prayers of others, it’s by the Almighty’s help that we make it through.

Go to Christ for comfort. He draws us close with His rod and His staff. He heals our crushed heart with His caring touch. When we stray like lost sheep, He doesn’t give up on us; rather, He goes after us.
Love isn’t passive. It initiates contact, comfort, and connection. Love helps us make sense out of a senseless situation. The Holy Spirit brings clarity to our confusion, so we saturate our soul with truth, which flushes out our fears. Trust in the Lord overcomes fear!

“‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him’” (Luke 8:25).

What fear do I need to replace with trust in the Lord? How do faith and obedience relate?

Related Readings
Isaiah 51:3; John 12:42; 20:19-21; 2 Corinthians 1:3; Hebrews 2:14-15

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Qualifications for Closeness

Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?Who may stand in his holy place?The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior.PSALM 24:3-5

Sincere worshipers of God long to be close to Christ. This is our eternal end game. This is the outcome we crave. Closeness to Christ places us in proximity for Him to wipe away our tears. Closeness to Christ reveals our sin and leads us to repentance. Closeness to Christ instills the best perspective, calming our heart and engaging our mind. The holy hill of the Lord is ascended by steps of repentance. Purity brings us closer to Jesus.

Closeness comes from cleanliness. We came from the dirt. We started out unclean. Dirt in our heart throws dust in our eyes. We struggle to see God when we haven’t cleansed our heart. The pure in heart see God. But the impure of heart are like blind bats fluttering around in futility. We are from the dirt in the valley, while He is high atop His holy mountain. The snow-capped mountain of God is pure and clean. We ask the Holy Spirit to clean us up so we can make the ascent. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).

So we approach the holy hill of the Lord with clean hands and pure heart. We pursue both an outward and inward purification. Both our behavior and our beliefs need sanitizing. Closeness to Christ comes when we align both actions and attitude. We wouldn’t expect a server to bring our meal with soiled hands. Nor are we to serve our Lord with the dirt of denial under our fingernails.God trusts those whom He holds close. He trusts them because they’re nearby to hear His instruction and obey His command. They’re hungry for His heart and thirsty for His trust. Closeness continually communes. It’s not like the adult child who comes home only when something’s needed. There’s intentionality in intimacy. God blesses those who are close by.

Stay cleansed and close to Christ! “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). How is the Spirit purging my heart and moving me toward purity? What does it mean to have a good conscience?

Related Readings
Psalm 51:10; Proverbs 22:11; 2 Timothy 2:22; Hebrews 10:22

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Shameless Hope

No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without excuse.
PSALM 25:3

We’re shameless when our hope is in our Savior Jesus Christ. Others may make fun of our simple faith, but they cannot shame us. Ironically, critics of faith are the ones to be ashamed. They’re without hope. Misplaced hope is a sham. It leads to deep disappointment and disillusionment. Shame is the reward of sin. On the other hand, freedom is the fruit of hope. We have nothing to be embarrassed about when we hope in Jesus. Our Savior is never put to shame.

Hope, however, is often related to our hurt. In our pain, hope in Christ seems the most compelling. Our pain in suffering produces a need and capacity for hope. Suffering enlarges the heart by creating the power to sympathize. When we’ve been poor, we have more empathy for the poor. When we’ve combated disease, our prayers gravitate to the ill. It’s out of our hope that we extend hope to the hopeless. Hopeful hearts look for those seeking the Lord.

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:5).

Our hope is reserved for us in heaven. Our heavenly Father owns our hope. In Him we never have to fear embarrassment. Our Savior’s hope will never bring shame to our situation. No rational thinking person would say, “What a shame that Christians have forgiveness of their sins, abundant living on earth, and the hope of heaven.” If anything, people without hope may be jealous and ashamed of their hopeless condition. Hope gives hope.

So heaven’s hope is alive and well. It awaits the engagement of faithful followers of Jesus. Like a secret garden accessible by faith alone, we have the luscious environment of hope for our enjoyment. We can sit and smell the flowers of God’s faithfulness. We can bite into the delicious, juicy fruit of God’s peace. We can stand without fear in the warm light of the Lord’s love. Hope may be lost for a season; when it is, don’t be ashamed to continually seek the Lord. Seek the Lord while He can be found. You’ll find hope in God. Hope is not ashamed of faith in Jesus!

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6).

How can I grow my hope in the Lord? What does it mean to be guided by God’s truth?

Related Readings
Psalm 62:5; Micah 7:7; Acts 24:15-16; Romans 15:13; 1 Timothy 6:17

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
Love and Truth

For I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
PSALM 26:3

Walk in faithfulness to the truth, and be led by love. These are twins of wise living. Love is our leader and truth is our motivator. Love is our strategy, truth is our tactic. Love is our goal, truth is our inspiration. Love is our encouragement, truth is our obedience. We need both to become better followers of Jesus. Love and truth work together to bring us into balance.
This is why we look forward to the love of God as a guide for our faith. Faith trusts God to accomplish His own decrees. This is why we don’t have to steal; we know God will provide for His children. This is why we don’t have to seek revenge; God can and will handle oppressors in His own timing and way.
This is why we look ahead to the love of God. We follow the Lord and His love by faith—we trust and walk in His truth.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).

We walk grounded in truth. Truth governs our faith and keeps us rooted in reality. Obedience to God’s truth proves our love for Him. Truth takes us back to basics: “Who does Jesus want me to be?” We walk in truth because it preserves us from sinful behavior. Assurance of God’s promises will cause us to believe and behave like Christ. Like a GPS, truth guides us on the best path. Truth obeyed is best not delayed.

Stay away from those who stray from the truth. A companion of fools suffers harm (Proverbs 13:20). The fool who handles truth loosely may even be a pastor, teacher, friend, or business client. He’ll lie even when the truth will do.

These are vain people. Don’t sit with them and be drawn in by their sly charisma.

By contrast, those who walk in the truth may tell you things you don’t want to hear. So listen when they prescribe doses of truth. The medicine may be distasteful, but once applied it will heal your heart. Walk in truth; walk with others who walk in truth. Follow love’s lead as you walk with truth—Jesus is love and truth!

“God is love” (1 John 4:8); “Jesus answered, ‘I am…the truth’” (John 14:6).

How can I walk and delight in the truth? What evil do I need to avoid?

Related Readings
Psalm 40:11; Zechariah 8:19; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:22

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2016), 39–40.
Confident in Crisis

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
PSALM 27:3

A crisis can be seen as either an obstacle or an opportunity. Fear can creep into our feelings and begin to weaken our faith. An encamped enemy can instill as much dread as the actual battle. It’s during interim times that we may fear the most. A crisis has a beginning and an end, but the consequences can continue. In crisis mode we learn to reject our instinct toward panic and desperation. Instead we trump feelings with faith. God has brought us safe thus far—He is faithful.

Fear erodes our confidence in Christ and replaces it with anger and defensiveness. We capitulate to our feelings from a desire to be in control. We think we have to take charge and operate from our own strength and ingenuity. However, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). In the day of trouble He’ll keep us safe in His presence. In crisis, we’ll have joyful confidence in Christ.

“In the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5).

Confidence in crisis means we’re collaborative, not combative. Confidence takes the high road of respect. There’s no need to blame others or to beat them down with verbal attacks. Persuasive people are prone to pride. They’re forceful with their feelings. Christ-confident people are patient. They seek the opinion of others. There’s an invitation for intellectual engagement.

Our past experience may not be what’s best for future direction. A confident and courageous leader can give up control and trust the Lord and others with the process.

Those who collaborate with Christ are positioned to be more than conquerors through Christ. Where there’s no confidence in Christ, there’s no continuance with Christ. Overcome your fears by faith in Jesus. He’s just what you need. Hold your family, job, and opinions with an open hand. Trust Him and others in the process of crisis management. We can be confident in Christ in crisis. No fear by faith!

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

How can I grow my confidence in Christ as I face a crisis of faith? What does it mean to have joy in Jesus?

Related Readings
Job 6:20-21; Psalm 27:13-14; Luke 18:9; 2 Corinthians 5:6-9; 1 John 2:28

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Psalms: A 90-Day Devotional
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