Daily D – Psalm 69:32
The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. PSALM 69:32 (NLT)
Discouragement is a loss of confidence or enthusiasm. It is an enemy of the soul. It crushes spirits. It shows up at the worst possible moments. Fortunately, I myself rarely get discouraged. Unfortunately, discouragement showed up uninvited a few days ago.
I sat for a long time and pondered the painful realities before me. I wondered how I got to the place where I was. I retraced all the steps, rethought all the plans, reconsidered their execution, re-, re-, re-. I looked back so long and hard I developed a neck ache.
Then I pondered what I know to be true: As God has been faithful in the past, he is faithful now. Never place a period where God places a comma. Do not quit reading the book in the middle of a painful chapter. God loves those we love more than we do. He has better plans for them than we can imagine. He is working out those plans in ways we cannot see.
Then I stopped pondering and started praying. I remembered Phil. 4:6, 7:
Don’t worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Worries that put an ache in your gut are best served by turning them into prayers which put hope in your heart.
Notice how Psalm 69 is about major problems and God’s faithfulness. Recognize the same structure in Phil. 4. Paul learned from David to look back and take confidence at how God had faithfully delivered him before. (This might be a good time to take a listen to Elevation Worship’s Do It Again.) Our circumstances change. God does not.
Mountain Mover, Sea Splitter, Consuming Fire is leading this parade. He will never take us anywhere he cannot keep us, protect us, defend us, and yes, bless us. Following his steps sometimes leads through dark valleys. Remember, however, who He is. He leads. He leads through. Stay in step with him.
Down in that dark place a few days ago, I could not see the way out. Four big prayer requests were on my heart. Today, we are two down with two to go. Discouragement has fallen away. Encouragement has taken its place. Just like David said after his long lament, “The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.”
Are you discouraged? Do worries crowd your heart and mind? Turn to God in prayer. Know his presence and his peace.
I will turn all of my worries into prayers.
Our Father, thank you for encouraging us with your presence and your peace. Thank you that mountains move and seas open at your command. Thank you that you are in charge. Thank you that we belong to you and that you never lose your grip on us or on those we love. How could we not sing your praise? How could we not give you thanks? Amen.
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Acts 21:10, 11 Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” (NLT)
Acts 20:33-35 “I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (NLT)
Acts 18:9, 10 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” (NLT)
1 Kings 19:11-13 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (NLT)