Tag Archives: Old Testament

Psalms 76:8-78:24

In distress. In silence. In waiting. In groaning. In faintness and weariness. Self, remember …

I cried out to God for help;
    I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
    at night I stretched out untiring hands,
    and I would not be comforted.

I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
    I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
    I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
    the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
    My heart meditated and my spirit asked:

“Will the Lord reject forever?
    Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
    Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
    Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”

10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
    the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:1-12, NIV)

Remember the former days. Remember your songs in the night. But especially this: Remember the deeds of the Lord. Remember his miracles of long ago. Consider all his mighty works. Meditate on all his mighty deeds.

I can choose to doubt and despair of an unknown future.

… “Then I thought …” (Psalm 77:10a, NIV)

Or I can choose to appeal to the Lord based on his reliable record, his deeds and works and miracles, his word.

Father God, your word is hope and truth. Circumstance and my own thoughts can make it seem like you are far, but when I remember you and think of who you are and all you’ve done, I draw closer to you. I draw closer to you, and you meet me.

Courtney (66books365)

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Psalms 55:1-57:3

But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them.” Psalms 55:16-19 NLT

David was in trouble and knew he could call on the Lord. Do I believe that God is working on my behalf like David did? He had the faith to keep praying.

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Psalms 55:22 NLT

Why is it so hard to give my burdens to the Lord? Or as the ESV translation says, ”Cast your burden on the Lord.” Throwing something forceable in a specified direction, like a fishing line (Webster’s). Throwing my anxiety onto Jesus is an action. Sometimes it might take all that I have, just like the following verse says…“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalms 56:3&4 NLT

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalms 56:8 NLT

I am thankful for a Father who is so personal that he collects my tears. His heart breaks for mine, so he can heal it. Nothing is wasted with him.

My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know. God is on my side! I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised. I trust in God so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalms 56:9-11 NLT

Dear Father, thank you that you hear me when I call to you. That you are always near. I love you for who you are. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Psalms 40-42

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him. (Psalm 40:1-3, NIV)

Yesterday’s reading emphasized, for me, that our only hope is the Lord. The verses today put my thoughts to deliverance and blessing–a blessing that is born from hardship. Not only that, but how through situations likened to pit, muck and mire, the Lord’s deliverance magnifies his glory for all to see.

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly. (Psalm 40:9-10, NIV)

I’ve usually been one to want a way out of a hardship, and not a way through it. I am not alone in a hardship–there are others who either walk alongside or who walk away. Those who stay–do they know they are blessed?

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
    they are counted among the blessed in the land—
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
    and restores them from their bed of illness. (Psalm 41:1-3, NIV)

I haven’t always looked for the blessing from or the honor due to God in a trial. In fact, I may have been more preoccupied with the details of the pit and the muck and mire. Certain events this year have caused me to look at life differently. One being, on a lighter note, a self-imposed (inflicted!) challenge (75 Hard) that I had to restart several times. I ended up getting a copy of the book (originally I was just going off the checklist), which was key in reframing the purpose of the challenge: to develop mental toughness. In what could be a long story, God used the purpose of mental toughness and paired it with my walk with him in a situation where I not only needed his guidance and kindness, but also needed the mental toughness to step into conflict with maturity and composure.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:11, NIV)

Life really does have a lot of conflict, hardship and trial. Lord, I want to handle the “little” situations in a way that honors you. These little things prepare me for the bigger things. Again I ask, “How do I want to show up in the world?” The answer unchanged: like I am the Lord’s.

Lord, you know I’ve made a lot of excuses. I’ve whined and complained. I’ve avoided hard situations out of my own fear and discomfort. All of these things have kept me dull, weak and ineffective. Thank you for being with me the other day when I picked up the phone. Thank you for putting scripture in my mind to hold my focus. Thank you for putting a new song in my heart.

Courtney (66books365)

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Psalms 37:27-39:13

Psalm 38. A psalm of David. A petition. That is the heading that precedes the verses. The psalm is an acknowledgement of sin. The physical and emotional descriptions that follow underscore to me that sin is death.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
    and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
    like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
    because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
    all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
    there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
    I groan in anguish of heart. (Psalm 38:1-8, NIV)

As I continued to read, I became curious about the circumstances of the psalm. I did a quick search. A preview of one link held this: “David Guzik commentary on Psalm 38 describes the only hope a sinner has, who has been forsaken by friends and hunted by enemies: God.”

The only hope.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior. (Psalm 38:21-22, NIV)

The only hope at all.

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
    he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him. (Psalm 37:39-40, NIV)

I’m reading a book called Resilience by Eric Greitens and just finished a section about praying. “I can’t tell anyone else how to pray, but I find myself praying more when things are harder. I also find myself drinking water more when I am thirsty, and eating more when I am hungry, and sleeping more when I am tired. And I’ve finally begun to accept that if I pray more when I am troubled, that’s just as natural.” (191)

Lord, I’m grateful that my prayers reach you. And just like water to quench a thirst, or food to nourish and strengthen, when I am troubled (or any time), I can call to you and it is just as natural.

Courtney (66books365)

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Psalms 22:1-24:6

Fourteen generations between David and Jesus. Each time I read over psalm 22, I saw more and more of Jesus.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1, NIV)

Many other books of the Bible read like a recounting, a history, a letter, or a conversation. But something about the psalms feels like a heart’s cry in anguish or in praise. Sometimes they feel vulnerable and exposed. Sometimes strong and confident.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever. (Psalm 23, NIV)

All the generations that have passed, these enduring words still profess God’s faithfulness, a comfort to so many of us. Words to lift up in praise. Words to whisper in uncertainty.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it
;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not trust in an idol
    or swear by a false god.

They will receive blessing from the Lord
    and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek your face, God of Jacob. (Psalm 24, NIV, emphasis added)

Years ago, I remember a conversation with a friend about the land that was for sale behind my house. She said something that I never forgot, about it being God’s land, and he would put who he wanted there. Her words completely reframed my perspective, and still do when I encounter people: the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

Yesterday as I swept down a portion of the driveway, I wrestled with the question, “How do I want to show up in the world?” And the answer came: like I am the Lord’s.

Courtney (66books365)

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