Darkness was quietly slipping in as Judy sat on the porch swing in her back yard. Across the street, miniature booms and loud pops filled the air as youngsters celebrated on the eve of Independence Day. Colorful sparkles of shimmering light exploded in the air and then disappeared into the darkness. Once again, Americans were visibly and audibly celebrating their freedom.
Psalm 85 is about Israel, but it also can pertain to any nation. Verse 9 has a promise, but there is also a condition.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land (Psalm 85:9).
God’s glory dwells in the land through His people. A nation’s greatness isn’t based on economic or military strength, but on the righteous lives of her people. Any nation whose people lack a reverent fear of God will be unable to dwell with God’s glory.
As you pray for your nation and thank God for its blessings, remember to also pray for God to establish righteous people who carry His glory in the land.
Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for your country, and pray for its salvation.
Quicklook: Psalm 85:1–9
Jason couldn’t sleep. He tossed and turned, changed positions from one side to the other, and fluffed his pillow, but still sleep refused to come.
His anxiety was overwhelming. So many things in his life were going wrong, and he didn’t know what to do about it. He felt as though God had abandoned him.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted (Psalm 77:2).
Psalm 77 was written for people like Jason, who feel forgotten by God and remember better times. The Psalmist remembered times when his heart was filled with joy. Instead of tossing all night, he sang songs in the midnight hours. They were songs of praise and thankfulness for God’s mercy.
The author made a decision in verse 12 to remember all the Lord had done. He chose to focus on the blessings instead of dwelling on the problems.
Prayer Suggestion: When anxieties flood your mind and sleep will not come, release your worries and remember God’s faithfulness.
Quicklook: Psalm 77:1–12
Wayne was in his eighties, and his only grandson was a drug addict. Wayne had started praying for his grandson, John, even before John was born. John was nearing forty and had been an addict for much of his life, yet Wayne never stopped praying for John and the other members of his family who were not yet Christians.
Wayne asked God to give him strength to proclaim salvation to his family. Wayne may be older, but he still had an assignment from the Lord for his life.
David might have been in the final stage of his life when he wrote Psalm 71. David pleaded with God not to forsake him. He still had important work to do. He wanted to tell the next generation about God and to encourage them to follow God.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18).
Regardless of your age or situation in life, God can use you to share His good news with others. He has an assignment for you today.
Challenge for Today: Accept and fulfill God’s assignment for your day.
Quicklook: Psalm 71:14–19
Horatio Spafford once received a six-word telegram, which was more than enough to shake his world. The message his wife, Anna, sent was, “Saved alone, what shall I do?”
The ship his wife and children were on collided with another ship. Anna gathered their children closely to her on deck, and they knelt to pray. In a matter of minutes, the ship sank and only Anna was saved.
Horatio sailed immediately to join his grieving wife. On his fourth day at sea, the captain told Horatio they were over the place where his children died.
With his crushed heart focused on God, Horatio wrote the comforting words to one of the world’s best loved hymns, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
King David knew about trials and heartaches. His life held many challenges, but, like Horatio Spafford, he found peace in knowing God was with him.
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him (Psalm 62:1).
Thought for Today: God offers rest for your soul in times of grief.
“He’s got to be kidding!” muttered Carl aloud, then quickly looked up from his bus seat to see if anyone had noticed. He continued the conversation in his mind as he checked his phone. After treating me like that, this guy actually sent me a friend request?
Carl is not alone. When others mistreat, misuse, or misjudge us, our first reaction is one of mistrust. It is good to be cautious of those who have hurt us before. A little initial skepticism is natural, as was the case with Isaac when some previously not-so-friendly neighbors came asking to be friends again.
Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?” (Genesis 26:27).
Isaac and these men were able to formally reestablish their relationship. As difficult as this might have been for Isaac, it was more important for him to be a part of his community than to go it alone. Good relationships with your coworkers, neighbors, or family members may require you to give up your natural mistrust.
Challenge for Today: Work toward rebuilding a relationship by extending grace to a difficult person.
Quicklook: Genesis 26:26–31