Today is my day in the annual Lenten Devotional book that is published by First Presbyterian and, as promised, am also publishing it here. This entry has two short passages from Psalms and follows the thoughts laid out in the first devotional about Psalm 25.
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies
and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion,
for he strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you.
He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.
He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.
He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast?
He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel.
He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the LORD.
A favorite Psalm by many Christians, these are glorious passages of praise and declaration of faith by David. David certainly knows and understands times of trouble, but his heart is continually filled with praise to God. Instead of seeking vengeance against his enemies, David continually seeks help from the Lord.
Unlike David, we easily succumb to times of trouble, greed, envy and our own insecurities and do not always call on God’s help when we need it. As we face trouble, we focus on those around us instead of looking to God for support. Too often are we concerned with what others think rather than what God sees in our actions and heart. When our lives please God, then it does not matter what others think.
As we read in Psalm 147:12-20, we are again reminded of the all-powerfulness of God. One of my favorite Spanish worship songs, Eres Todopoderoso (You are All Powerful), talks about the powerful abilities of God and how this is so important to us and why we are in awe of his majesty. It says:
“The only reason for my adoration is you my Jesus.
My only motivation to live is you Lord
The only truth is in you, you are my light and salvation.
My only love is you Lord, and forever I will worship you.
You are all powerful, you are grand, majestic
You are strong, invincible and there is nobody like you.”
While we read passages talking about God’s omnipotent powers, sing both hymns and praise songs about His faithfulness to and love for us, and are repeatedly reminded of His amazing strength, why is it that we easily forget about this and rely on man? We should be like David who immediately goes to God with everything. Do we not go to God because we don’t want to trouble Him with the little things? Is it because we are so wrapped up in Earthly things and the cultural norm of being self-sufficient? Like a parent is wholeheartedly concerned and interested in their child’s life, we should remember that we are the children of God, a father who is unbelievably interested in us and how he can support, lead and teach us.
As I prepare to enter into a life of ministry with Scripture Union Peru, I will definitely face times of emotional and physical trial and difficulty. Cultural differences, frustration about schedules, constant traveling, being so far away from family, church family and friends are just some of the things I will be faced with. But at the same time, I will be able to experience the life-changing ministry of the abandoned boys program, support fellow Christians in their walk with God, and help share the work Scripture Union is doing in Peru with the United States and Europe. When I face times of trouble or great accomplishments, I need to remember to be like David and first call upon God. In both the bad and the good, He is our first call.