Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Understanding Amid Storms of Life”
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing 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 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
What are you going through these days? While I am not sure what Asaph is experiencing at the time when he writes today’s psalm, it must have been very painful since he describes his heart as being grieved and his spirit, embittered.
Nevertheless, in the midst of a crisis of faith, Asaph is given understanding when he enters into the sanctuary of God; that is to say, a clear understanding of truth came to him amid storms of his life.
Note that verses 21-28 describe the truth that God revealed to him. First, Asaph recognizes that in his suffering, he was a brute beast toward God. He does not excuse the sin in his heart or cover it up by referring to anxiety or suffering. Asaph owns his sin and rightly acknowledges that his struggle was with God rather than with his circumstances or other people.
Second, Asaph understands that in his darkest time, when he felt farthest from the goodness and presence of God, He held Him by his right hand and was always with Him. In fact, God is Asaph’s only rock and foundation even as he doubts Him.
Third, Asaph realizes it is good to be near God. The wicked and arrogant are welcome to their earthly prosperity and health, if only Asaph can have the presence of God.
How are you tempted to blame circumstances or others for spiritual struggles in your life? Pray that God would open your eyes to His presence and purpose in the challenges you face today. Ask that God would reveal His beauty in such a way He would be the object of your desire throughout the day.
Prayer: Lord God, forgive me that I am so ready to dwell on my troubles or the sins of others around me rather than face the great sin in my own heart. Forgive me that I am so unaffected by my daily betrayal of you. Give me grace to see the deep poverty of my own spirit and drive me to Your Son. I thank You that He is sufficient to meet all my needs and faithful to walk with me. May Your purpose and presence be my joy.
Bible Reading for Today: John 9 (Luke 22)
Lunch Break Study
Read James 1:16-18 (NIV): Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
Questions to Consider
- What is the nature of God’s gifts to us?
- What is the nature of God who gives us these gifts?
- Determine in your heart to believe that “God is good…all the time,” and “All the time…God is good.”
- God’s gifts are always good and perfect. Everything God does is good and perfect.
- God is characterized by light and openness as well as steadfastness. All of hisdealings with us – from our initial salvation to our eventual glory – reflect his total goodness to us.
- Personal response
In what tangible way did you obey God’s leading today? Were there some difficult choices to be made? How did the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen you towards obedience?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask that You generously give me wisdom to face my trials and difficulties. And help me to fully trust that only the wisdom I receive from You will carry me through this trial. Amen.