Day 164: June 13, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Psalm 77
1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and He will hear me. 2 I sought the Lord in my day of trouble. My hands were continually lifted up all night long; I refused to be comforted. 3 I think of God; I groan; I meditate; my spirit becomes weak. Selah 4 You have kept me from closing my eyes; I am troubled and cannot speak. 5 I consider days of old, years long past. 6 At night I remember my music; I meditate in my heart, and my spirit ponders. 7 “Will the Lord reject forever and never again show favor? 8 Has His faithful love ceased forever? Is His promise at an end for all generations? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?” Selah 10 So I say, “I am grieved that the right hand of the Most High has changed.” 11 I will remember the Lord’s works; yes, I will remember Your ancient wonders. 12 I will reflect on all You have done and meditate on Your actions. 13 God, Your way is holy. What god is great like God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; You revealed Your strength among the peoples. 15 With power You redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 16 The waters saw You, God. The waters saw You; they trembled. Even the depths shook. 17 The clouds poured down water. The storm clouds thundered; Your arrows flashed back and forth. 18 The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; lightning lit up the world. The earth shook and quaked. 19 Your way went through the sea and Your path through the great waters, but Your footprints were unseen. 20 You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

 

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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How Pondering The Past Increases Our Faith In The Future
by Susan Hill, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

Be sure to click on the new video this week.

Psalms of Redemptive History serve to remind God’s people of the ways God has acted on their behalf in the past. Recalling the ways God has previously intervened serves to build our trust and confidence that He will remain faithful in the future.

In Psalm 77 we find Asaph lying in bed unable to sleep, due to his despair over the destruction of Jerusalem. When Jerusalem fell, many Jews were killed and others were taken captive to Babylon. Asaph was grieving over the tragedy and wrestling with the events that had taken place. He was heartbroken for his people and his nation.

Faced with the choice of focusing on his troubling circumstances or redirecting his thoughts towards God, Asaph writes in verses 11-12, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all Your work, and meditate on Your mighty deeds.”

Notice how Asaph uses the phrase, “I will.” When faced with adversity, there comes a point when we must force ourselves to stand in faith. “I will “suggests that Asaph had made a decision to focus on God, and he encouraged himself by recounting the ways God had intervened on Israel’s behalf in the past.

In verses 13-20 Asaph acknowledges that God is holy, that He is a great God, and His ways are always right. Asaph then reflects back on all God had done in bringing His people out of Egypt. Recalling how God had intervened in the past served to encourage Asaph. He describes how he moved from disappointment and grief to a renewed faith that God would act on behalf of Israel.

As followers of Christ, we have our own Redemptive History. As believers, we can look back to the cross, where Christ took the punishment for our sins and gave His life for us. As Paul writes in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”

Recently, I was reminded of this truth. While reorganizing my home office, I came across my prayer journal from 2006, which to date stands out as the most difficult year of my life. As I read the journal and recalled the events of that year, tears spilled down my cheeks and onto the pages of my journal.

My tears weren’t a result of the difficulties of that year, but a testimony to God’s grace in an intense time of need. By reading the journal, I could see how God had faithfully answered my prayers, not always in the way I had hoped, but in a way He knew to be best.

God knows we will all be faced with seasons of adversity. He provided us with the Psalms of Redemptive History as a model to use in prayer and as we reflect upon our history with Him. When properly used, they will serve to build our faith, renew our spirit, and strengthen our confidence.

Praxis

  1. Think about your salvation experience. What would  your life and future have been like if Christ hadn’t gone to the cross on your behalf?
  2. Spend some time recalling difficult circumstances or seasons of adversity God has brought you through. What are some of the ways He has shown Himself to be faithful in times of need?
  3. How does recalling ways God has intervened in the past increase your trust and confidence that He will be faithful in the future?

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.