Hope in God
Lord, “The unfolding of Your words gives light” (130). Shed light into my life today.
Read Psalm 119:129–152
129 Your statutes are wonderful;
therefore I obey them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
132 Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
134 Redeem me from human oppression,
that I may obey your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees.
136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law is not obeyed.
137 You are righteous, Lord,
and your laws are right.
138 The statutes you have laid down are righteous;
they are fully trustworthy.
139 My zeal wears me out,
for my enemies ignore your words.
140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
and your servant loves them.
141 Though I am lowly and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands give me delight.
144 Your statutes are always righteous;
give me understanding that I may live.
145 I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord,
and I will obey your decrees.
146 I call out to you; save me
and I will keep your statutes.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I have put my hope in your word.
148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises.
149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love;
preserve my life, Lord, according to your laws.
150 Those who devise wicked schemes are near,
but they are far from your law.
151 Yet you are near, Lord,
and all your commands are true.
152 Long ago I learned from your statutes
that you established them to last forever.
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.
ReflectWhen was the last time you cried out to God with your whole heart?
Reading this psalm is a humbling experience for me. The psalmist’s focus and devotion for God and his Word is exemplary (131,136,139). The psalmist is awake in the night meditating on God’s promises (148) and up before dawn to seek God’s help (147). With his “whole heart” (145), he cries out to God. So often my heart is half and half or hot and cold. How wonderful, then, that I can count on the Lord’s goodness and graciousness to me (132), not because of my own devotional standards or efforts but because Jesus has won this approval for me (cf. Rom. 5:1,2). God’s face is shining on you (135) because Jesus’ perfect righteousness is yours if you are trusting in him through faith alone (cf. Rom. 4:4–8). Meditating on this makes me want to love God and his Word all the more.
The psalmist was under pressure from people (134) and felt small and despised (141). Can you relate to that? Times of difficulty and persecution remind us of our poverty of resources and throw us back onto God like nothing else. God will use your current circumstances to deepen and develop your faith in him, which is of far greater worth than gold.
Trust that the Lord is near to you now. Trust that his Word is as true for you as it was for the psalmist (151).
My Father, I need You. Teach my heart to be fully devoted to You. I praise You for Your goodness and faithfulness to me.