I will praise Him!
Reading: Psalm 119
Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.
May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.
May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.
May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame (NIV).
You have been touched by God. Pause. Consider that for a moment.
When did God touch you? According to the psalmist it happened at the very beginning of your life. Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
Implied in that statement is God’s personal care—His attention to detail. You are not an accident or an afterthought in the mind of God. He formed you with a plan and a purpose. According to the apostle Paul, a large part of that purpose is that you may know Him, and be conformed to the image of His dear Son. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:28-29).
When we face difficulties, hardship and suffering has God abandoned us? The answer is a resounding no. Consider the psalmist’s response to these things: I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.
Every adversity you face should bring you nearer to God. See it as an opportunity to learn, grow and be changed into someone who is more like Jesus. He did not run from adversity, but instead faced suffering and death head on. God the Father brought Jesus safely to the other side, and it’s His purpose to bring you through to glory too.
Response: Father God, I want to be like Jesus. Thank you for touching my life and forming me with your hands. I am yours—yours by creation—yours by redemption. I will meditate on your precepts. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you questioned God’s love for you? Are you living out His plan?
This week’s I Love the Psalms theme is creation.
So many of the divisive issues that convulse our society have a deeper root. Whether it is issues around gender and sexuality, or race and ethnicity, scratch below the surface and you soon discover the foundational issue. The foundational issue is do you believe in God. More specifically, do you believe God created you? Do you believe He has an ownership claim on your life?
The psalmist states this root issue quite succinctly:
If you accept the premise that God created humanity and therefore has ownership of our lives and “Creator’s rights,” then we know our bodies belong to Him. We are ultimately accountable to Him for how we use the gift of our sexuality. We are his people, the sheep in his pasture.
Furthermore, there are no racially superior people. The LORD God made them all and offered up His Son to redeem them all.
The root issue is ownership. Do you belong to God or are you god?
Response: LORD God, I acknowledge that you created me. I belong to you. I was bought by the precious blood of Jesus. Help me to daily reflect the great love you have for me. Amen.
Your Turn: Whom do you belong to? Do you believe in Creator’s rights?