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Exploring the Psalms
Psalms Home
Why Are They Unique?
How Should We Use Them?
The Power of the Paraphrase
Getting Started
More About Getting Started
Coupling With Prayer
Additional Help
Going Deeper
More Going Deeper
More Going Deeper II
Then What?
Psalms Categorized

 Exploring the Psalms (cont'd)

Expanding a theme

 One of the most delightful aspects of letting Godís Word percolate through your mind and heart is that Spirit-directed rush of recognition of new truth, or new aspects of truth you thought you already knew. For example, as you meditate on some truth about how God works in your life, you may suddenly see new aspects of His activity and thrill about how thoroughly He cares for you. I call this expanding a theme, and suggest it not so much as something to be looking for, but as a mindset to develop as you search the scriptures for the nuggets of gold He has for you. Read in anticipation of God directing your mind to expand the idea of what you are reading to other truths that arenít specifically stated in the passage at hand, but are special blessings He has just for you. I have found that these are the times that the Spirit blesses me with the truth I need for my specific circumstances, and because it is obviously something that I didnít derive strictly from the scripture at hand, it has even greater impact on me. It may in fact reveal the core blessing from the entire psalm.

 An example occurred to me as I was paraphrasing Psalm 37. As you probably already know, this is the ďFret not because of evildoersĒ psalm. It warns us not to fall into the trap of looking at the prosperous wicked around us and lapsing into envy or discouragement. Near the middle, in verse 23, we are told, ĒThe steps of a man are established by the Lord; And He delights in his wayAs I let that thought rest on my heart, the picture of Godís activity in my daily life blossomed beyond the words on the page, and I wrote:

 Text Box: For Godís own, each day is:
      prepared by His hand,
           accompanied by His presence,
                surrounded by His delight, and
                     filled with His joy.




Even though all these thoughts arenít specifically stated in this verse, they are gloriously true and placed on my heart by Godís Spirit to encourage me in the unfathomable care He exercises in my behalf. I would be hesitant to spend time on some thought that doesnít occur anywhere else in scripture, but these joyful truths are entirely consistent with the God of the Bible; they have just arrived in a special, Spirit-borne package to bless my heart and stabilize my thinking and my life concerning Godís character.

Think about what these few lines convey about His concern about each and every one of your days, and every part of your day. Since He has already declared His eternal beneficence toward you and promised that He will work all things out for good, He must certainly have already prepared (or allowed) all that will fill your day. Since He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you, He will surely accompany you through every moment.

Then comes the first of two nuggets that really thrill my heart Ė He delights in what is happening in my life. Why? Because He knows the Christlike character He is growing in me, the fruit He is going to bear through my life, the blessing He will bring to others through me, the glory that all this will bring to Him and the glorious eternity that awaits me in His presence. He knows that His perfect plan will be unerringly worked out in my life; it is a delight to Him, and should be to me!!

With His delight comes the companion thought that my day is filled with His joy. Wherever God is, there is joy; He simply is a God of joy. Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always existed in perfect enjoyment of each other. As His child, I have entered into the joy of God being God; my perceptions of that wonderful truth are just clouded by the mundane and ordinary around me while in this time-bound environment. That will be entirely corrected when I go to be with Him, but He is not satisfied to wait until then for me to recognize His joy in our relationship. Zephaniah 3:17 reinforces this incredible truth when it says, in part, ďHe will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.Ē

Revel in it, Christian! He takes great joy in you! You thrill His heart! He is so filled with joy at being your God that He occasionally has to break out in shouts - He just canít hold it in! Even your weaknesses and failures donít dampen His excitement over the growing love relationship he has with you, His child. It was initially His doing and He knows it will never be undone, because it was by His power that we were made sons and daughters of the King, and it is by His power that we will be kept. It is the righteousness of Christ that makes Him love us even as He does Christ Himself, so our faults donít cloud the thrill of our relationship.



Then What?




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Love Letter photo used with permission of Rian Houston