It’s the time of the year when my home church solicits daily devotional writings for our annual Lenten Devotional book. I have signed up for two, both from Psalms, and have decided to include the first one here today. The first is from Psalm 25, and it is what I wrote for the 2009 book. That being said, I am no longer 23, and no longer necessarily facing some of the same big life decisions as I was last year at this time. Nevertheless, I think this is applicable to today more than ever, and even every day in our lives.
A Psalm of David.
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.
Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.
Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
For many people, their twenties are exciting and life-changing times. Amidst the big life changes, it can be a time when some of the most crucial life decisions are made, many of which often set the path for the future. It is a time of self-discovery, new found independence found during the college years, a time of crucial decisions like what career path to follow or with whom you fall in love, and an entry into the “real world.”
As I find myself at 23 facing some of the big life decisions – what I want to pursue, where I want to live, who I want to spend my life with. When I am weighed down with these complex decisions and so many choices, I find comfort in verse 5 (“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” NIV). Like so many other verses from the Psalms, this verse reminds us of a promise we share with God: if we do our part, God will do His.
We are constantly reminded that if we walk in step with the Lord, He will show us the life He has in store for us. Because of this covenant, we no longer have to worry, be confused, or try to figure it out on our own, all we have to do is trust, believe and obey. He is not a God of uncertainty; He doesn’t want for us to walk through our life trying to worry about our future. He wants to reveal to us the path that is chosen for us, but sometimes like with the beam of a flashlight we can only see so far and have to trust that as we keep going, we have to trust that He will continue to light the path. By slowly revealing each part of our life, it is His way of motivating us to keep going, trusting and seeking. We should not give up and forget that the promise is not a matter of if it will happen, but only a matter of when.
It is especially during these current times of economic strife, growing unemployment, and international conflict that we should not look to man for a solution to our problems. But rather, confide and trust in God, and we will persevere.