Day 163: June 12, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Psalm 30
1 I will exalt You, Lord, because You have lifted me up and have not allowed my enemies to triumph over me. 2 Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. 3 Lord, You brought me up from Sheol; You spared me from among those going down to the Pit. 4 Sing to Yahweh, you His faithful ones, and praise His holy name. 5 For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor, a lifetime. Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning. 6 When I was secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.” 7 Lord, when You showed Your favor, You made me stand like a strong mountain; when You hid Your face, I was terrified. 8 Lord, I called to You; I sought favor from my Lord: 9 “What gain is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it proclaim Your truth? 10 Lord, listen and be gracious to me; Lord, be my helper.” 11 You turned my lament into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 so that I can sing to You and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise You forever.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Psalm of Thanksgiving
by Denise Hildreth Jones, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

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We have a very different David today. Psalm 30 is David on the other side of his lament:

"You have lifted me up."

"You healed me."

"You brought my soul up from the grave."

The fear of being swallowed whole that vexed him in Psalm 13 is gone because his prayers have been answered. We don't know for sure what specific prayers have been answered. Maybe it was a deliverance from his nemesis Saul. Maybe it was deliverance from the plague recorded in 2 Chronicles 20. But what we do know is that David is rejoicing at the delivering hand of his Heavenly Father.

Then David recounts what revelations this season has brought. He has experienced God's anger over his sin, but he has learned that the favor of God lasts much longer than His anger. David owns his arrogance as well by pompously declaring "I will never be moved" only to declare "Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong." God hid His face. David experienced the pain of such separation. And revelation of ourselves and our God often comes in those moments.

He ends with the remembering of the prayers he has prayed and the answers he has received. And he ends, in perfect David fashion, with singing. He can't be silent. And he declares he will be giving thanks forever.

Do you remember what it was like on the other side of the answer? The bill you couldn't pay and the check comes in the mail. The IRS audit that has you crazy and then the letter comes releasing you from any penalty. The broken marriage that encounters restoration. The wayward child that finds the way back home. The health crisis that results in complete and total healing. I've learned that sometimes we don't even truly discern the weight of a crisis until it has been lifted.

I will never forget the first time I heard myself belly laugh after my divorce. It was a trip I had planned a year before I even knew I would be getting a divorce—an all-girls trip to Disney World and a Disney Cruise. It was the Magic Kingdom's final moments of the evening. The parade had come and gone. Tinker Bell had descended on the castle. We were headed to Main Street for the final stretch back to the shuttles.

I was pushing my best friend’s mother-in-law in a wheel chair (she had two new hips and we got quick access to the rides). When I saw that long stretch of Main Street before me, the life inside of me roared to the surface. It was like an eruption. I took off with that wheel chair up Main Street and I was like a crazy woman.

Poor Miss Doris let out a holler and had death grips on the arms of her wheel chair, but I didn't care. I danced, I ran, I twirled that wheel chair, I popped wheelies, and I laughed—that deep kind of laugh that takes over your whole body. Our entire group was doubled over in laughter as Miss Doris experienced a ride far more thrilling than any she had partaken of that entire day.

My heart was fully alive, experiencing all the healing to my "How long?" questions, all the answers to my "Will my heart be broken forever?" questions, and all the balm to my "Will my joy ever return?" questions. In that moment, my heart sang loud and free and completely and totally alive. And in that moment, I knew it could potentially sing forever.

There will come a time when your pain will subside, surrender, even vanish altogether. What will you do when it does? Oh, I believe you will rejoice. And you should. God is with us in our questions, but He is grateful to know when we recognize the gift of His answers.

Praxis

  1. The next time healing comes or an answer comes to a situation in your life, spend time thanking the Lord. I'm reminded often of the story of the ten lepers that Jesus heals and only one comes back to thank Him. I try to remind myself, when God has answered a prayer, how long I have been praying for an answer. And then it really prompts me to let Him truly know how grateful I am.
  2. The next time an answer comes, tell someone else. God is glorified in our lives when He gets the glory for the situations we have been through and He has delivered us out of or in spite of. And our telling other people increases their faith to believe God can do that for them as well.
  3. And you got it. You should still be singing.

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.