I will praise Him!
I will listen to what God the LORD says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
(Psalm 85:8-9, NIV)
I will praise Him!
Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
(Psalm 79:8-10, NIV)
I will praise Him!
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
(Psalm 63:2-5, NIV)
Later this year, Kregel Publishing will be releasing my Passion of Christ novel entitled “The Soldier Who Killed a King.” Due to an editing deadline on this book, I am unable to do my regular, full-length posts. I hope to resume my devotional posts soon. — David Kitz
Reading: Psalm 119
Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.
May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.
May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.
May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame (NIV).
You have been touched by God. Pause. Consider that for a moment.
When did God touch you? According to the psalmist it happened at the very beginning of your life. Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
Implied in that statement is God’s personal care—His attention to detail. You are not an accident or an afterthought in the mind of God. He formed you with a plan and a purpose. According to the apostle Paul, a large part of that purpose is that you may know Him, and be conformed to the image of His dear Son. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:28-29).
When we face difficulties, hardship and suffering has God abandoned us? The answer is a resounding no. Consider the psalmist’s response to these things: I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.
Every adversity you face should bring you nearer to God. See it as an opportunity to learn, grow and be changed into someone who is more like Jesus. He did not run from adversity, but instead faced suffering and death head on. God the Father brought Jesus safely to the other side, and it’s His purpose to bring you through to glory too.
Response: Father God, I want to be like Jesus. Thank you for touching my life and forming me with your hands. I am yours—yours by creation—yours by redemption. I will meditate on your precepts. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you questioned God’s love for you? Are you living out His plan?
Reading: Psalm 108
A song. A psalm of David.
My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth (NIV).
This morning did you awaken the dawn or did the dawn awaken you? For those who are early risers awakening the dawn becomes much easier as the days get shorter and we approach the winter solstice. I confess that this morning and most autumn mornings I am awake before sunrise.
There is something quite magical about watching the sunrise and spread its golden rays across the eastern sky. I was treated to a magnificent sunrise display last Monday. I was driving east across the prairies and as each mile slipped by the glory along the horizon grew more and more intense. I pity the poor atheist who has no one to praise when he beholds such a display.
For believers, praise for our God springs naturally from our lips when we see God paint the sky with splendor. In such moments David’s call to worship becomes our own: Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
Can you picture David taking up his harp and breaking into song as he locks his eyes on the rising sun? David was a most remarkable character. What sets David apart from other individuals we meet in the pages of scripture? He was a man of spectacular failings. His adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the treacherous means he used to dispatch her husband stand out. But there’s nothing remarkable about spectacular failings and shortcomings. These are common to man.
What stands out about David’s character is his steadfastness to the LORD. The opening lines of Psalm 109 hold the key to understanding David’s overcoming nature. My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Despite his failings, David remained steadfast in his love for God. Secondly, he was wholehearted in his praise for God. When things came off the rails, he did not turn away from the LORD or stop praising Him. He repented and God forgave him. Then David gave thanks. David’s example is there for us to follow.
Response: LORD God, I always want to have a thankful heart that is quick to praise you. Help me to be steadfast in love and praise even when the way ahead is difficult. You are my help and my glory. Amen.
Your Turn: What does being steadfast look like for you?