By Anne Graham Lotz
Today, the world will celebrate the day of love—Valentine’s Day. For some, it is a time of special celebration … for others, it is a time of special challenge as there is no special person with whom to share this day.
If the latter is your experience and you are feeling depressed, would you consider this? The most special Person in all the universe loved you enough to give His life for you—and this Valentine’s Day, He is longing not only to embrace you, He is longing for you to embrace Him.
Everyone needs a hug! And as you delve into the pages of your Bible, God will respond with His own arms opened wide.
As you seek Him, you will find that He will draw you nearer to Himself in an ever more intimate relationship. So get into His Word each day and begin now to enjoy His embrace.
When we are in the midst of a trial, instead of withdrawing or exploding or complaining, you and I need to run to our Heavenly Father, throw our arms of faith around Him, and embrace Him more tightly. Why?
Read Psalm 84. The Psalmist gives us three reasons:
I. HE IS MY SONG
From Psalm 84:1-4, what are some themes for our song? List the phrases.
Identify phrases from the following verses that reveal a common theme: Isaiah 49:13, 52:9; Job 35:9-10; Psalm 126:5-6.
What is the common theme in Exodus 15:2, Isaiah 12:2 and 2 Samuel 22:1? List phrases from each verse.
What phrases reveal the common theme in Psalm 28:7, 18:1, 32:7 and 126:2?
What are the phrases that express a common theme in Psalm 42:8 and 59:16?
Which theme has been lacking in your life? If you have lost your song, do you need to tune your heart to all the themes given above?
What are some other themes that fill your heart with joy? Write out the verses.
II. HE IS MY STRENGTH
From Psalm 84:5, what is the source of our strength? If you lack strength, what practical things can you do to draw from the Source?
From Psalm 84:6, what does God’s strength enable us to do? Note that the Valley of Baca referenced in this verse is the Valley of Weeping. What do the springs represent? See John 4:13-14 and 7:37-39.
From each of the following lists of verses, what else does God give us strength to do?
Ezekiel 2:1-2, John 5:1-9, Micah 5:4, Jude 24-25.
Isaiah 63:1, 2 Samuel 22:40.
Mark 11:25, Colossians 3:13 and Matthew 18:21-22.
Psalm 73:26, Isaiah 57:10.
What are you saying you can’t do? What phrase in Psalm 84:5-7 contradicts your protest? What encouragement do you receive from Deuteronomy 33:25?
III. HE IS MY SHIELD
Who is our shield? See Psalm 7:10.
How does this relate to Ephesians 6:16?
What difference do you think our proximity to the Shield makes in its effectiveness?
What are the two primary things we must do to stay close to our Shield? See John 15:7, 10.
In each of the following lists of verses, how do we benefit from our Shield?
Nahum 2:5; 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalm 18:30, 91:4.
Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalm 18:35, 144:2; Jeremiah 51:11.
2 Samuel 22:31, 1 Peter 1:5.
Psalm 3:3, 5:12, 84:11.
If God Himself is our Shield, what do you think could get past Him?
How do Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-6 indicate that when something unpleasant, unwanted, unexpected or unplanned comes into your life, it is only with God’s permission?
What has God allowed past the Shield that guards your life? Why do you think He has given His permission? See John 11:4, Romans 8:28, 1 Peter 1:6-7.
How long has it been since you wrapped your arms of faith around the One who loves you, and embraced Him? Don’t let your problems or pressures or pain or pride keep you from doing so. Today, give the Lord a Valentine gift … something to truly delight His heart … a hug from you!
Anne Graham Lotz will hold a special seminar at The Cove called “Pursuing MORE of Jesus” November 9-11. For more information or to register online, click here.