I will praise Him!
Reading: Psalm 107
He turned rivers into a desert,
flowing springs into thirsty ground,
and fruitful land into a salt waste,
because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
He turned the desert into pools of water
and the parched ground into flowing springs;
there he brought the hungry to live,
and they founded a city where they could settle.
They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest;
he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
and he did not let their herds diminish.
Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
he who pours contempt on nobles
made them wander in a trackless waste.
But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
and increased their families like flocks.
The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths.
Let the one who is wise heed these things
and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD (NIV).
I wish I could say that I was always steadfast in my love for the LORD and steadfast in the pursuit of His will and purpose for my life. But in reality my walk with God has been cyclical. There have been times when I have sensed God’s great love and intimacy, and other times when I have followed the Lord from a distance.
In this concluding portion of Psalm 107, we see the cyclical nature of our love for God on full display. As people cry out to the LORD in their distress, He hears and answers their prayers. The LORD blesses them abundantly. He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle.
But with increased prosperity, people often forget God who brought the blessing. They assume that wealth and good times have arrived simply because of their own effort. Yes, God expects us to exert some effort. But we can put in effort and get no increase. Ultimately, God is the source of every blessing. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).
When we forget to be thankful, we set ourselves on a downward spiral where again we will soon need to repent and call out to God for mercy. We need national and personal steadfastness to the LORD.
Response: Father God, thank you for my personal story of redemption. Help me to always remain thankful. I don’t want to be trapped in a cycle. Help me to be steadfast in pursuing your will. Amen.
Your Turn: Are you steadfast or cyclical in your pursuit of God?
This week’s I Love the Psalms theme is thirst.
Our bodies crave water. That’s only natural since our bodies are over 90% water. We can go more than 60 days without food, but only about 10 days without water.
The question I have for you is how long can you go without God? How long can you go without communicating with Him? How long can you go without hearing from God? The psalmist had a constant craving for God.
As I am writing this post, I occasionally pause to take a sip of water. In the same way we should routinely find our hearts and minds turning to the Lord. Prayer and open communication with the Lord should be as natural for us as that sip of coffee or whatever beverage you crave.
In my heart I am thirsty for you, the living God. Can you say the same? I hope so.
Response: LORD God, give me a constant craving for you. I want to speak to you and hear from you. Be an essential of life for me, just like that thirsty deer. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you have a desire to hear from God and be close to Him?
This week’s I Love the Psalms theme is joy.
Are you drinking from streams of joy? Jesus promised that through the gift of the Holy Spirit we would become a source for joy. “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38 NIV).
Where the Spirit of God is moving there is newness of life and joy.
Response: LORD God, I want to experience your joy. Give me a greater measure of your Holy Spirit. Fill me to overflowing. Amen.
Your Turn: Is Jesus a source of joy in your life?