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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 06/24/20

Our Shiny Shield

I will put my hope in the Lord. He is my HELP and my STRENGTH.

STORY: Shielded by Angels’ Wings

When I was a little girl, I had a vivid imagination. Bedtime was especially fearful. All sorts of dangerous scenarios came to mind, including a monster under my bed and fires burning down our home. On regular nights, I put one arm over my head, resting on the pillow. It was my shield from harm. It represented an angel’s wing. But on especially fearful nights, I put both arms over head, acting as a super-power shield. Trouble would bounce off of me as long as I was properly shielded. That shield allowed me to rest well. Isn’t it interesting what we put our hope and trust in?

If I tried that same tactic today, my arms would fall asleep! I’m glad I discovered God as my shield and strength—my help for any real or imagined troubles.

STUDY: Our Help and our Shield

I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord. You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me. (Psalm 141:8 NLT)
  • If you read the entire Psalm 141 you see that David gave a personal account to God, and examined his heart. He made sure he was in right standing with God before asking for God’s help.
  • Realizing God is sovereign makes all the difference in us depending on God as refuge—a safe place. The word sovereign means there is nothing going on in me or around me that is outside of God’s control. It is all affected by God’s influence and authority. So in this psalm, it is a king praying to the King. Royalty talking to royalty.
  • Hearing “don’t let them kill me” is haunting right now, in light of our current events following the killing of George Floyd. These are the words of a desperate man, pleading out. Today, what is so serious in your life that you are pleading to God? Know that he is with you, and he hears.
May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem. (Psalm 20:2 NLT)
  • Psalm 20 is known as a prayer from David and the people for the King of Israel as he goes into battle. So David is both the psalmist and the subject of the prayer. It is suitable to be their national anthem, sung in public, as the army is sent to battle.
  • When we deal with our personal battles, what can we seek from God?
  • When you receive strength from God, how does that help you with your battles?
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. (Psalm 28:7 NLT)
  • If you get real for a second, where do you go when you need help? When do you go to the Lord for your help?
  • What are the roles or actions of God in this verse? What are the roles or actions for us?
  • How is it possible to feel like singing songs of thanksgiving during a time when we feel helpless or hopeless?
We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20 NLT)
  • Why do you think it is significant for this psalm to say “put our hope” rather than simply “We hope in the Lord”? What action or mental focus does this take?
  • Does knowing God can be our helper and our shield motivate us to be able to put our hope in him?
They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them. (Psalm 44:3 NLT)
  • God is the one fighting our battles for us. What does he look like here?
  • Why does God help us?
[ For the choir director: A song of the descendants of Korah, to be sung by soprano voices. ] God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NLT)
  • These descendants of Korah were Levites who served in the temple on the music team.
  • While other psalms begin with a cry for help, this one begins by praising God for providing help. How would it help us if we focused on what God is able to do rather than what our problems are?
  • Focus on the key words. Refuge. Strength. Always ready. Help.
O Israel, trust the Lord! He is your helper and your shield. O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the Lord! He is your helper and your shield. All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord! He is your helper and your shield. (Psalm 115:9-11 NLT)
  • Psalm 115 is sung by Jewish people during Passover. It’s possible Jesus Christ and the disciples sang this psalm as part of their Passover celebration at the Last Supper.
  • Now add your name to the list, and sing this song personally. If I’m singing it, I would sing, “O Kathy, trust in the Lord. He is your helper and your shield.” Now put your name in there.

STEPS: Seeking Help & Helping Seekers

  1. Retreat to your refuge. When sensing trouble, retreat to the God who helps in time of need.
  2. Rest in faith. Let God fight your battles for you, so you can find sweet sleep.
  3. Render help to others. Look for someone who needs your help—shield them from harm.

Copyright © 2020 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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