Psalm 136 – Give Thanks

Read Psalm 136

This is one of my favorite psalms to read responsively. His faithful love endures forever. What a promise! Forever is a long time, and knowing we are loved by God forever is an incredible honor and blessing. If you are struggling today, use it as a comfort! You are loved.

This psalm elicits joy for the reader. Anytime we are reminded of the mighty God we serve. He is a God active among his people.

Verse 23 stands out to me today. “He remembered us in our weakness.” When we are weak, our God is still strong. He is still in control. We can call on him and rely on his strength.

But what else stands out to me is we need to GIVE THANKS! We need to have a grateful heart that overflows with gratitude to God. Many times we look at our own accomplishments and fail to give thanks to the creator who blessed us for that task.

The psalmist remembers what God has done for his people to help him feel the gratitude. We can do that, too. Think of all the times you have felt rescue from God. Maybe it was an escape out of a dangerous situation, or the ability to overcome a temptation, or clarity when you were making a decision. God is active and working in our lives, behind the scenes, and we need to call him out and give him thanks!

Let’s pray. Father it’s sometimes hard to feel like giving thanks even though I know you more than deserve my gratitude. For loving me without end is in and of itself means for celebration and thanksgiving. Cleanse my heart today of this heaviness and release me from these chains. Restore my joy so that I can be my best for you. May your glory radiate from me again. I trust you. I give you thanks!  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 126 – Joy!

Read Psalm 126

Have you ever been happy like that? As the psalmist talks about the Israelites returning to Jerusalem after years in exile. They were so happy, they thought they were dreaming.

As the story goes, however, these Israelites had probably never seen the true beauty of Jerusalem before. Why? Because the exile had lasted so long. Those that had been the ones to leave had long since died. But the dream of returning, the memory of God’s promise, the desire for Jerusalem lived on.

I have “pinch me” moments quite often when I wake up to another beautiful, sunny day here in Mexico. I’m retired now with no more alarm clocks. I have joy in that, and often have to  remind myself I’m not dreaming.

We should all have the Israelite’s kind of joy in our hearts at the mere thought of our loving God. He showed us he loved us in a big way when he sent his son. Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross for us, for our sins, was the triumph of greatest magnitude. Every follower should be jumping for joy and having a “pinch me” moment at the very thought.

As the history continues, it didn’t take the returning Israelites  long to see that their beloved City was in ruin. The glory days had long since ended. The second half of the psalm is a beautiful call for God’s provision to restore and renew. I appreciate how it is done with such integrity and not selfish plea.  In the strength of those words, there is no doubt that God will act, and when he does., their response…JOY!

Do you have that kind of assurance when you pray? Do you know without a doubt that God will make “lemonade out of lemons” for you? Are you ready to sing and shout for joy at the thought? Think on that for a while. Is it time to rejuvenate your allegiance to God? Your prayer life?

Let’s pray. Lord, I thank you for all you have done for me! You have changed my mourning into dancing and left me stronger in the wake of my struggles. Thank you for guiding me through those dark days to such a sunny and bright future. I know that your hand is at work to guide and direct us here in our new surroundings. Thank you for the opportunity to reach people I wouldn’t have otherwise reached through this transition. Use us to make a difference. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)