Psalm 100:1-5 ESV – A Psalm for giving thanks.
1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Father in heaven,
You created us to have joy, to sing praises. What an incredible God You are! You want us to come into Your presence; You want us to know You. We are Yours — not as property or trinkets, but we belong to You as Your children. You created us for relationship with You.
You are good. What You do is good. Even if the present circumstances don’t make sense or are difficult; even if it seems that sadness and confusion are overwhelming — You are good. You are eternal. You are all-knowing. You are holy. Your steadfast love will never end. You will never stop being my heavenly Father. I will never stop being Your loved child.
Thank You, Lord, for Your never-ending love and care. Thank You for giving me joy.
This week please remember our brothers and sisters in Bhutan. Buddhist nationalism renders Christianity illegal, and the pressure to conform is profound
Psalm 73:1-28 ESV
1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
Holy God, my Father,
You are good, and You do good; teach me Your statutes (psalm 119:68)
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Father, this is where I get myself into trouble. I take my eyes off of You. I believe my assumptions. I trust in my perspective more than in Your Word.
4 For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
7 Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
my envious heart has affected my vision; I only see partial things; I do not see Your longsuffering; I do not see that You are holy. I am feeling like You are unfair and ignoring my pain, only to let the wicked go free. God, my perspective is killing me! Help!
10 Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.
11 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
this perspective that has forgotten You, has even infected Your children. We are starting to think that evil isn’t so bad . . .we are beginning to wonder if You are really sovereign, and in control of this world. We are beginning to question Your goodness . . .and beginning to wonder if You are really true . . .
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.
18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
God, there is so much more at stake than my envy; when I sin, it has a ripple effect. My sin affects those around me. My doubts encourage others to doubt. My selfishness encourages others to indulge in selfishness. God, I put my eyes back on You. I am not all-knowing. I am not eternal. I am not sovereign. I am not the Judge of all the earth. I do not hold the universe with my Word. I confess my idolatry. I repent of my rebellion. You are God. You are good. What You do is right. When You do it, is the right time.
21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
This is the amazing truth of Your mercy — that You forgive my rebellion, my temper tantrum, my ridiculous mistrust of Your goodness. You never leave me. You open my eyes to see my sin, and You walk with me and teach me and guide me into Your truth.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
Lord, You are my all. You are my God. Your ways are right. I do trust You. God, I pray that those “wicked” who I was so foolish to envy would turn to You and be saved. Their end is horrible; they are so deceived. Open their hearts to trust You and turn from their sin.
Keep me close to You, Lord. I am so prone to wander.
I love You, my God and my King,
This week please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Kenya. Though it is a “Christian” country, the Muslim groups in Somalia, and the corruption of the Kenyan government leaves believers open to attack and opposition.