January 10, Friday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church in Raleigh (N.C.), was originally posted on November 8, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“God’s Sovereignty Amid the Chaos”

Psalm 97:1-12

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! 2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3 Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. 4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. 7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods! 8 Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD. 9 For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 10 O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11 Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. 12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Often, watching the evening news can be depressing and discouraging, as we see the tragedies and chaos that are happening in our world today.  From shootings at airports, malls and even places of worship, to injustice to the poor and oppressed, we sometimes ask ourselves where God is amid the chaos.  

Psalm 97 is a song acknowledging God’s sovereignty over all things. In spite of this world being unjust and unrighteousness, and our hearts are not always ready to offer praise to God, He is still the God who is worthy of our praise. He reigns overall, and because of that, we can rejoice and exalt His holy name.  In verses 2-6, the psalmist demonstrates the awesome presence of God by using creation, such as clouds, fire, lightening, mountains and heavens bowing down and declaring the majesty of our King. This psalm, together with the other hymns affirming Yahweh’s kingship (Psalm 93; 95-99), proclaims the righteous, just, and loyal rule of Yahweh (“righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne,” v.2). He will make righteousness abound on the earth. His rule benefits the development of godliness and brings an end to godlessness. He will establish order on earth.

Can you worship God this morning despite of your circumstances?  Do you know that he rules over all things, despite of the chaos in the world?  As his children, the Lord is calling us to “hate evil” (v.10) and rejoice in Him (v.12).  Take some time this morning to reflect and praise the mighty God whom we serve.  

Prayer: Lord, I praise You and lift Your holy name on high.  You are the everlasting God and the creator of the ends of the earth.  I love You and worship You this morning because there is none equal in this universe—You stand alone! Thank You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Bible Reading for Today: John 11 (Luke 24)


Lunch Break Study

Read James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why does James ask us to “count it all joy” when we go through hardships?
  2. What is the purpose of hardship?
  3. How can these verses give you comfort in the midst of trials in your own life?

Notes

  1. James, who was the half-brother of Jesus, encourages his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to “count it all joy” when we face difficulty in our lives.  This is often easier said than done.  If we are honest with ourselves, we often ask God to remove hardships or even wonder where God is in the midst of our trials.
  2. James gives us great comfort because he states that during our difficulty, God is bringing us to greater maturity and faith.  The Lord wants us to produce steadfastness in our faith so that when hardship comes in the future, we will be able to stand and persevere.  “Perseverance” has a work to do, and this can be accomplished only by persistence in trials. If perseverance is to “finish its work,” faith must not falter or give up.
  3. Are you facing hardship today?  Ask the Lord that you would have the faith to persevere.  Remember that God is sovereign, and He has His best interest for you; His plans are always good.

Evening Reflection

As you end your day, spend some time acknowledging the sovereignty of our God.  Even in the midst of our busy lives, let’s remember that nothing is out of his control, even when we face trials.   Worship and ascribe greatness on to Him!

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