We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds. (Ps 75:1)
I have learned that I don’t know everything, anytime. Much more is being done by God than I realize. What I see and understand is never the entire picture. My Lord is fashioning a plan, a story. He is aligning situations, redeeming the past, creating a beautiful future. He does not need my help or ideas.
Therefore, I give thanks…his name is near, marking what he is doing. And, when I don’t think progress is being made, he leaves me with wonderful memories of his faithfulness in the past.
Life, detail, plans, alignment
Gripped, held, thank you, Lord
I have no doubts you are weaving a beautiful picture with every circumstance and moment. My challenge is to thank you during the process. Looking back, your ways are wonderful. Looking forward, I have only hope in you. Thank you, Lord.
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (Ps 7:17)
This is the first time the word thank appears in the psalms. Behind it is a deeper understanding than just saying thanks. It is being a person of gratitude. This person lives out 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Simply said, circumstances can only lead me to give thanks. Living with gratitude approaches all circumstances with “Thank you, Lord.”
Gracious Lord, Savior
In all, I give thanks to you
With all, heart rested
Lord, you have never made it difficult to thank you. Through wonderful times, you have been with me. Through the uncertainties, you have led me. Through need, you have provided. Thank you, Lord.
Psalm 23 is one of those psalms that keeps showing me truths every time I read it. After reading it again, I see this vital lesson opening before me:
I dare not separate walking in green pastures, sitting near still waters, enjoying times of restoration and receiving goodness and mercy every day from walking in valleys.
Mountaintop perspective is not found in this psalm. It is walking with him through the valleys that these blessings are found. He is unceasingly ahead and with me; therefore, no valley causes me to fear. He leads me to my valley walks where I find comforting and healing. From the valley, I look up and see grandeur; things look bigger from the valley. The vision of my Shepherd-Lord is most intimately sharper in valleys. I am small, he is grand!
Into the valley
Blessing, renewing, living
I am His alone
Lord, you lead me in righteous ways – you lead me into valleys. I am so cared for by you. I love that truth that I need never fear. Keep me from trying to escape the valleys. Help me accept the abundance you offer.
I love you, O Lord, my strength….but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:1, 18-19
David is nose to nose with accusers. He is entrapped by dangers and problems…no escape…but the Lord…
He alone takes us to the broad places. He rescues and lifts us up. No one else can do this and I dishonor him when I think I can deliver myself or depend on someone else. The great Interrupter delights in me – I am his child. I am his responsibility. I am in his care.
God has no problems, just plans. – Corrie tenBoom
Why would I turn to anyone else for rescue? Why would I ever think that I so entrapped that there is no way of escape?
Lord, you alone are my strong deliverer. Help me depend upon you alone.
God always stands in complete contrast. Our world cannot stop talking about itself, its accomplishments, its ideals and goals. With words, we tear others apart and deceive with hidden motives and agendas. God is not like this at all.
His words reflect his pure heart. His promises are totally true. His guidance does not fail. They are as silver refined and purified. The question is whether or not I will listen and accept them as they are.
Lord, protect me from doubting you or thinking that you are like others. Help me accept all answers as your perfect answers.
The mood of Psalm 11 is panic, but David’s is peace. In view of David’s attitude, this psalm can be listed with the psalms of confidence (Pss 4, 16, 23, 27, 62, 125, 131). Counselors can mean well, but can also steer one’s eyes from the truth. For example,
…if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3).
It can also be interpreted as for the foundations will be destroyed; what has the righteous done? In other words, “In view of the crumbling of the theocratic society, what can one righteous person, out of a shrinking remnant, do?”
Is not the Bible filled with examples of what God can do with one?
Lord, I realize I am only one, but I am one. And, I have seen what you can do when one is surrendered to you. Guard my mind against thinking hopeless thoughts. And, keep me from believing I am totally unable to make a difference.
God is unhindered in making things right. I forget that he is not affected by limitations of time or space. He hears the afflicted. He strengthens the weakest. He responds to the fatherless with a parental love and protection. He makes things right. One day, all things will be righted and justice will be forever enjoyed.
Until then, life happens. People flee terrorism. Children are hungry. People groups are desperate. As I write this, I am following the Rohingya Crisis. One-half million Rohingya refugees have fled their homes to Bangladesh.
People are living in squalor, where, in the rainy season, mud is ankle deep. International aid providers are doing the best they can. And the government of Bangladesh is doing the best that it can. – Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International
Girls reach out for food handed out by a volunteer organization in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Tommy Trenchard/Caritas
Lord, help! Perhaps this is one of the most honest prayers I can pray. I am unable – but you are not. Bring justice to our world. Give missionaries hope and courage where it is needed today. Make things right.
I live in two different worlds at the same time; it’s easy to see these contrasts when considering Psalms 9 and 10. Psalm 9 begins with praise and Psalm 10 begins with despair. Even Psalm 10 is sharply divided between hostility and discouragement (10:1–11) and hope and encouragement (10:12–18). Simply said, the discouragement comes from walking by sight.
Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Ps 10:1)
I wish I could grow beyond these extremes but, perhaps, the tension will remain until the here and now is eternally replaced by there and then. Until that time, I must try to remember that when the Lord appears to be standing far away or hiding in times of trouble, acting in a way that is just not like him, to allow my faith to overrule my sight.
Lord, one of the most beautiful things about the psalms is its honesty. Help me live by faith today and let the “whys” remain unanswered.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. (Ps 9:18)
For many years, my heart has been drawn to the nation of India. Today, my wife and I support Tial, a missionary in Myanmar. It seems like one thing after another hit this country; natural disasters, economics, politics. The poverty is staggering. Perhaps that is why I have been drawn to the writings of Amy Carmichael and her ministry to the poorest and mistreated children. Who cannot be touched by the pictures and ministry of the Dohnavur ministry in southern India?
This verse in Psalm 9 is such an encouragement. There is an end to all misery – the Lord himself. Until then, there are these verses to comfort us along the way:
The Lord himself is our high, strong fortress. He is our retreat. We run to him. Nothing or no one else will suffice.
Lord, you are my stronghold for this day and every day. May those who struggle, who are oppressed, without food or basic necessities, find you today.