A Heart for God
Heavenly Father, keep my spirit tuned to You today so that in all things, good or bad, I rely on You.
Read PSALM 119:153-176
ר Resh Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law.  Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise.  Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees.  Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to your laws.  Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes.  I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word.  See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love.  All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. ש Sin and Shin Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word.  I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil.  I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law.  Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.  Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.  I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands.  I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly.  I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you. ת Taw May my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word.  May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise.  May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.  May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.  May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.  I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.  Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.  I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat seems to be the psalmist's problem here?
During a period of acute panic attacks my doctor advised me to keep a diary of how I was feeling. Otherwise, she said, once I was better I wouldn’t remember how bad I’d been and how much progress I’d made. Years later, I still have that diary and thank God for the way he brought me through a very difficult time, especially through the support of family and friends. I wonder if the psalmist ever looked back on his words in that way.
It’s not easy to praise when you are in the middle of suffering and God seems so very far away. What an example we have in today’s psalm! Unlike Hannah’s case, the breakthrough hasn’t yet come, but the writer trusts the God of caring and compassion (156) that it will.
There is great determination in his words. He is in distress, persecuted without cause (161). But he will not give in. He trusts that God will renew his life (154). He’s waiting for salvation (166), but it is not an idle waiting. He is occupied obeying God’s laws (168) and praises seven times a day (164). What an example for us to follow when times are hard!
List the reasons you have to thank God. Put it somewhere prominent, so you don’t forget to do just that.
Lord Jesus, I really do have so very much to be thankful for. Give me a spirit of gratitude to You today and every day.
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