Reading: Psalm 44:1-8
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.
We have heard it with our ears, O God;
our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago.
With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors;
you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish.
It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.
You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob.
Through you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.
I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever (NIV).*
What brings you success? As we look forward to the New Year, this is a very valid question. There are thousands of books, blogs and advice columns out there that promise you success. If you will just do this, that and this other thing, success is sure to come your way. Now don’t misunderstand me. Many of those self-improvement tips and success formulas can be helpful, if applied. And educating yourself on sound habits and business practices can be rewarding. But…
But if you succeed, what is the source of your success? The author of Psalm 44 would respond by saying success does not come from a formula, a habit or a tip. Success and victory come from the LORD. In this psalm the psalmist refers to the conquest of Canaan by the children of Israel. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.
If you succeed in your field of endeavor, what will be the reason for your success? Undoubtedly, hard work, sound practices, wisdom and creativity all play a part, but there are plenty of people who have these character traits in spades, but still they fail to reach their potential. We only succeed—succeed in the fullest sense—when God is working with us. Paul, the apostle, reminds us of this truth, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
We conquer in our field of endeavor when God is working with us. If you succeed, who is the reason for your success?
Response: LORD God, any success I have comes from you. Every triumph is a victory you bring. Help me to always remember you are my source. I succeed because of your love, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Your Turn: What gifts, talents or insights have you gained in the last year? Take a moment to give thanks for God’s help.
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and is an ideal gift to start the New Year for those who love God’s word. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.