Category: <span>thoughts by Violet Tse</span>


“Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.”  Psalm 43:4

Have you ever felt misunderstood, alone, harassed by others, even ‘cast off‘ by God Himself?  I certainly have, more times than I care to admit.  My life is so rich compared to a majority of my brothers and sisters in the world.  Why should I ever complain about anything?  And yet, I do.

David faced a much more difficult situation in this psalm than I have ever known, as he was in exile, pursued by Saul.  What was his response?  First, he expressed his grief and feelings of injustice.  Then he asked some hard questions:

Why dost thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy.”

But to whom does he pour out his complaints?  To his friends or family? No.  He goes straight to God with his pain and doubt.

Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.”

When his focus turned to God, all else paled by comparison and even seemed irrelevant.  He seemed to say,

Why was I ever so troubled by circumstances or people, when I have such a great God” “my exceeding joy?”  The margin reads “the gladness of my joy,” i.e. the very soul and heart of my joy.

David immediately broke forth into praise to this God of gods, with special emphasis on the personal, “my God.”

The psalm ends with David talking to himself about this wonderful God.  Things came back into perspective again as he realized these trials were only temporary (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18).  He would spend eternity praising Him for Who He is and reveling in the assurance that He is ‘my God..’ Let’s join him right now and

go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.”

by Violet Tse
Used by Permission

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Philippians 4:6-7

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

My whole perspective on prayer has changed much over the past several years. Before, I looked at prayer mostly as a means of my bringing my needs and requests to God for Him to supply and solve. I was more concerned about His specific answers than personal fellowship with Him. I found myself fretting and anxious as I awaited His response, instead of resting in the knowledge of Who He is “the all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving God of the universe”.

Then Philippians 4:6-7 came alive for me through a sermon by our pastor one Sunday evening. We are commanded not to be anxious about anything! Now that’s a tall order for one such as I. Rather, we are to approach God in “prayer” (worship and adoration), and “supplication” (telling Him everything as though He didn’t have a clue about it all, pouring out our hearts to Him), “with thanksgiving.” As we present our requests in such a way, He gives us a most wonderful and awesome promise, His peace, which is beyond our comprehension, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus! God cannot lie. This promise will be fulfilled each time we follow His command in verse six. He doesn’t promise to always give us what we’ve requested, but something even better “to fill us with His peace and the knowledge of His presence with us.” What more could we desire?

The next time you find yourself fretting, even after you have “prayed” about something, remember Philippians 4:6-7 and accept His invitation to come bask in His peace.

by Violet Tse

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reading the word“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts..”  Jeremiah 15:16

When I first became aware of these precious words through a Bible memory program, I devoured them immediately. As Matthew Henry says, “[I] received them entirely, conversed with them intimately; they were welcome to me, as food to one that is hungry; I entertained them, digested them. God’s Word truly was the joy and rejoicing of my heart. What could bring more joy than to know that ‘I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

In looking at the context around this verse, however, I was almost shocked to see it from an entirely different perspective. Judah was in a bad way, having repeatedly turned her back on God and His prophet, Jeremiah. They were suffering a drought which should have been a warning to them to turn from their sin. Instead of heeding the warning, however, they listened to the smooth, ear tickling words of false prophets while persecuting and tormenting Jeremiah. Poor Jeremiah “sat alone.” (verse 17) and fretted about the people’s stubbornness and his own lack of success among them.  I can almost hear him saying, “But Lord, after I have been so faithful to You, how can You allow them to treat me so harshly?”  And yet, when he did turn again to God’s Word, he found the “joy and rejoicing” of his heart.  God needed to correct some of his wrong thinking and expression before he would be fit to utter His “precious words.” again (verse 19).

How thankful we should be for God’s long suffering toward us and for the deep comfort and joy His Word brings, no matter what our situation may be. Warren Wiersbe has written: “but God encouraged him [Jeremiah] as he fed on the Word. God may not take away the pain in your heart, but He is there with His comfort.”

by Violet Tse

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