Good Lord, on this day of worship and rest, I join my heart with others to worship and praise You.
Read Psalm 40:1-17
 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. 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.  Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.  Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.  Sacrifice and offering you did not desire- but my ears you have opened- burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.  Then I said, “Here I am, I have come- it is written about me in the scroll.  I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”  I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, LORD, as you know.  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.  Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect me.  For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.  Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to help me.  May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.  May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame.  But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The LORD is great!”  But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
ReflectWhat reasons does this man have for praising God?
Although the psalmist begins by relating a time when he waited patiently, that does not describe his present state of mind. Right now he is desperate for God’s help (11,12); his patience has run out (13,17). Does that sound familiar? (It does to me!) No matter how many times I have experienced God’s help, the next difficult period never seems easier to deal with. When everything gets too much (12), when we are at the end of our rope, then it’s time to do what the psalmist does – look back. Remembering God’s goodness in the past helps him to persevere and trust God in the present. God is not fickle. He doesn’t decide to help one day and then ignore us another. God does not change. He always listens (1), always loves (11) and acts for our good (2). What have past experiences taught you about God? Even in his distress the psalmist made listening to God (7,8) and honoring God (5,8-10) a priority. We have even more reason to honor God, for we know exactly what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have done to rescue us from sin and death and give us new life.
What have you learned about God through past experiences? Pray about any worries in light of that.
Loving Father, You have truly been so faithful in the past. I know I can trust You in the future, too.
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