Psalm 92:12-15 – The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon
Oh how I long to be like a cedar of Lebanon. I want my roots of faith in Christ to grow deeper, while I my faith continues to grow bigger and stronger. I want my love for the Lord to be evident in all I do. Sadly I know I have a long way to go, and no matter how good I become it will always only be of value because of the Righteousness Christ won for me on the cross and when He rose again so I might become His righteousness. I believe we can grow in our faith, and become strong and become able to endure all that life throws at us.
Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God
So how do we grow up big and strong in our faith? How can our faith flourish? I believe this verse gives us some clues. The first of which is that we are to be planted in the house of the Lord. Ideally a church should not be a place of entertainment (though it’s ok to be entertained there). The point of going to church is not like going to a movie. It is to be fed. To be fed with the word, sacraments and fellowship. Hearing the word of the Lord fills us with nourishment we need to grow in our faith. The sacraments confirm our faith, nourish and connect us with the Lord. He reaches out to us in the sacraments. Our fellow church goers are also part of how we grow. They encourage us, support us and prod us when things aren’t going as we hoped. Ideally they help us to keep our focus on the Lord. Knowing God more fully, feeding on Him and His word is why we could want to be planted in the house of the Lord.
We want to flourish in our faith life, not just wilt along. Sometimes it may seem all we do is wilt under the strain of our daily lives. Work, kids, health and family can often put strains on us that make us feel less like flourishing and more like we’re completely worn out with out much hope ahead. That’s why we need to have God’s word give us the nutrients that will help us to survive this life and remain faithful to Him in all we do. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t spend time purposefully in God’s word, I am easily overwhelmed by the days tasks. When I focus on Him and turn those tasks over, things are sometimes easier, but they’re almost always more peaceful. You can bet if I’m off, I haven’t been praying much.
They will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Planted in the house of the Lord, we can remain fresh and green. How will we know we’re still growing, fresh and green? Because we will proclaim that the Lord is our source of strength. He is what we cling to, and that God is good.
The Lord is upright
It is my joy to proclaim that my Lord is upright. There is no wickedness in Him. His ways are pure. What a blessing it is to have a relationship with our God. To know Him, to see His solid, upright, never wavering character. We can trust Him. We know that He is going to do the right thing for us. Sometimes we can’t see it right now, but He is good and upright and we can continue to flourish in our faith because of the witness and testimony of all the other times in our lives (and others) that God has shown up. Not just shown up to pat us on the back and say, “It’ll be OK , but showing up to take care of things. To provide when it looks like there is no way for provision to be found. He’s showing up by sustaining us during health problems. He’s showing up by helping us seek professionals for help with our mental state. He’s showing up when He helps you hold your tongue and avoid another argument with your spouse. Turn your problems over to our upright God, Our Rock and our Salvation. Turn them over to God and expect Him to show up in amazing and unexpected ways. Then when trouble comes for you or someone you care about, remember this time. Remember how the Lord showed up for you, and be a witness.
How has God shown up for you?