Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 17, 2019
Will you not give us life again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your mercy, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:6-7
Now several weeks into the New Year, I imagine that many of us are already feeling the weight and challenge of some of our resolutions. Perhaps you set an especially high bar, and are now wondering if you can stick with it or if it’s time to abandon ship! For me, I find this time of year to awaken in me a deep sense of self-reliance, thinking all of the changes I want to see are entirely on my back and will only come if I have the discipline and will to see them through. And while there’s certainly something to be said for hard work, this seasonal focus can also make us lose sight of one of the great and central truths of the Christian faith: life is a gift given by God to be received in humble gratitude and thanksgiving.
Most of the resolutions we make are rooted in a desire for joy and happiness. We want to lose weight to feel good about ourselves and have energy to do the things we love. We save more money so we can take a special vacation or plan for retirement. We want to take on a hobby in order to have the joy of cultivating our unique gifts of creativity. Yet throughout the Scripture the most consistent source of joy and happiness is found in the presence of God and receiving his life and salvation.
“You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit”(Job 10:12).
This year, can you resolve to find your joy in the mercy of the LORD? Can you find your happiness, not in what you do for yourself, or others, or even God, but in what he has done, is doing, and will do for you? Just as the LORD gave life in the beginning and sustained his people throughout history, he desires to give life to every part of your being, even the places that feel beyond hope. As John reminds us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
Join your prayers this year with the psalmist of old, and look at your life, in all of its joys and sorrows, praying and believing that the LORD will give life yet again.
Father, remind us afresh that our hope and strength comes not from what we do for ourselves but what you have done for us in Christ and are doing this very moment through your Spirit at work in our hearts and lives. Amen.
Where in your life do you need to believe again that God can bring life and light to even the darkest of places?
Life is a gift given by God to be received in humble gratitude and thanksgiving. #wisdomhunters #life
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