Praise the Lord! Our reading from Psalms today is powerful praise and worship pointing to God’s mercy. This is especially true for those who “have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.” I certainly believe God is most my most trustworthy advocate, and my hope is secure.
When I imagine God as my “helper,” my whole day shifts. Getting things done and figuring out best practices is so much easier when I ask God to help me. I’m pretty sure it works that way all the time. Sometimes I just forget to ask! How many hours have I wasted doing things the “long” way rather than asking God to show me the “best” way from the get-go?
We can’t change the past. It’s passed. But we can control our future—to a degree! We can put our trust in God or decide that the world is a better choice. Personally, I don’t see the “world” heading in the right direction right now. Come to think of it, the world has been a little off course for generations!
Thankfully, I’m not ashamed of my devotion and allegiance to Jesus. As the world awaits Christmas morn, I’m focusing on Jesus, our Savior born that day. I see way too many people focusing on the decorations, the “magic” of the season, Santa Claus and reindeer sightings, glitter, tinsel, and the aroma of holiday goodies baking. (All good things…but not the main thing!)
Jesus’ light came into the world that first Christmas. A star showed the way. All these years later, it’s our turn to keep the light burning. We can do our best to shine our lights as beacons for Jesus. But we shouldn’t be surprised when others don’t understand our values. It’s up to us to take care not to give in to theirs.
I love how these verses today speak of justice and grace. God keeps every promise, he gives, he frees, he opens, he loves, he protects, and he cares. But he also frustrates the plans of the wicked. We may wonder, “when does that happen?”
We remember how Jesus turned society upside down with his teachings and loving ways. Imagine what they thought when he said, “But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” (Matthew 19:30) “Then” is when it will happen, if not before.
Take some time today to reflect on how you can praise God with the way you live your life. Are you reflecting Jesus and keeping his light burning brightly?
Let’s pray. I praise you, LORD, for your mercy and grace. Thank you for never abandoning me. May I keep your light burning brightly. Use me God to touch your lost children in some way. I’ll follow your lead. Let them hear of your great love for them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.