Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Knowing where to find your hope!"

Day #18:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - January 15th

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 6 - 8 …

Knowing where to find HOPE in this world is crucial to every person who is alive!  More and more people face anxiety and despair because they have no hope.  Others pretend that all is well as they live on the edge of a cliff, waiting for the earth to shift.  Worry, fear and despair plague the human race as God's wrath continues to be poured out on a world in rebellion against Him, and we await His final judgment when Jesus returns.  What a desperate state of heart and mind threatens to overwhelm the soul.

But … there IS hope!  David and the other writers of the Psalms knew where to find their hope, and as you read their words the Spirit of God inevitably draws all who know God to His throne, to bow at His feet and to pray, "LORD God Almighty, may Your will be done."  There is no pretending in Psalm 6 and Psalm 7.  Interestingly, both speak of God's wrath.  Psalm 6 begins with the prayer:  "O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.  Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony" (6:1-2).

And in Psalm 7, verse 11, David writes, "God is a righteous Judge, a God who expresses His wrath every day."  David asks for God's deliverance because he knows he has nowhere else to turn.  And notice why he calls on God to deliver him:  "Save me because of your unfailing love" (6:4).  David knew God's love through God's testimony through the prophets, by the testimony of God's Spirit and by God's promise of forgiveness.  David knew himself and David knew his God.  He didn't presume upon God, but rested in God's mercy … on God's willingness to withhold His judgment and to show His grace.

Not everyone knows these things.  "All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed" (6:10).  David declares, "I take refuge in You; save and deliver me …" (7:1).  Where do you find refuge?  Where do you go to rest safely in peace?  "My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart" (7:10).  Not one of us is perfect in all our ways, but those whose hearts desire to praise God and to make Him known … who "give thanks to the LORD because of His righteousness" (7:17), will experience His protection and His peace.

It is in knowing God, then, and trusting in Him, that our hope is found.  That fact should move us to cry out as David does in Psalm 8:  "O LORD, OUR Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"  (8:1,9).  It would be easy to feel like an insignificant speck in an infinite universe - especially today when modern technology shows us the far reaches of God's creation (at least, so we think!).  But David understands God's purpose in creating mankind in His own image:  that we might know and love God, our Creator, and live to serve and praise Him forever.

May you have this hope today and every day as you sing God's praise and as you give thanks to Him for His justice and mercy, and for His grace in Christ Jesus, His Son and our Savior and Lord!

"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth!  Help me today to find my hope in You and trust that You WILL deliver me as I live to praise You and to serve You, because of Your unfailing love toward me.   In Jesus' name, Amen."

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