Gracious God, on this first Sunday of Advent, I am reminded that my ways are not Your ways, but in all things, You are God.
Read Psalm 123
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to you,
to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
3 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,
for we have endured no end of contempt.
4 We have endured no end
of ridicule from the arrogant,
of contempt from the proud.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does it mean to you that God is King?
Let’s begin with the second part of this short psalm. God’s servants have been criticized and ridiculed by proud, arrogant people (3,4). This psalm may recall the Israelites’ exile, but there were also other times when they suffered such attacks. And it is clearly something to which we can relate. In our post-Christendom society, we frequently find ourselves coming under ridicule for our beliefs and practices. It is becoming increasingly risky to state our beliefs openly: sometimes we will simply be laughed at or mocked, but sometimes we even risk losing our jobs.
So, what should we do in these circumstances? We lift our eyes to our God (1,2). When you feel threatened and under pressure, it’s easy to keep thinking about the situation, mulling it over, becoming more and more negative. We can find our thoughts spiraling into anger, self-pity and hopelessness.
Let us stop and lift our eyes to the Lord our God! He is on the throne in heaven (1). That means that ultimately, He is King and is in charge, whatever happens on earth in the short term.
As His servants, we have a right to look to Him for protection and for justice (2). We belong to Him. We can say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”’ (Hebrews 13:6).
Are you facing new challenges or testing times? Spend a moment remembering that you face them as God’s child, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, You are my point of reference, my North Star. As I look to You, I know You will guard my heart and mind.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.