“Let those who fear the LORD say: ‘His love endures forever.’”
Praise you, Lord Jesus, that you are my Shepherd, that we can know that whatever comes, you have led us into it, as you led your disciples into the storm on the lake, into the opposition of the crowd, into the pain of your death. You have the larger picture, so we can trust and follow you as you walk with us into the future.
Psalm 118:5-9 says, “In my anguish I cried to the LORD….” This is the proper response to any situation, going right to you, O God, fleeing from self-pity, worry, fretting and anger to embrace your goodness, wisdom and love.
You will respond to our prayer: “In the day of my trouble I will call on you, for you will answer me” (Ps. 86:7). And your answer begins inside: “I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps. 34:4). “In my anguish I cried out to the Lord and he answered by setting me free” (Ps. 118:5).
You, Lord God, are the Freedom-giver—freedom from eternal death, from punishment, from condemnation, from selfishness and Satan, as well as from fretting and fear. You are always at work to set us free from things that bind us, on a deeper level, in a higher way.
Praise be to you for your wisdom, your insight, your understanding. You operate with full knowledge, certain of which thing to work on next, which enemy to defeat, which sin to reveal, which point to camp out on until we respond.
You don’t guess and fumble as we do in life; you know exactly what is wrong and you know exactly how to deal with it, for you are the Creator, the Healer and the Freedom-bringer.
“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid” (Ps.118:6). As we look away to you, fear is defeated, fretting is routed, worry is wiped out, unbelief is banished. They cannot stand in the light of your mighty, majestic, magnificent power, of your gracious, great and good heart, of your perfect, powerful, positive character, of your deep, dynamic, enduring Love.
Seeing you more and more clearly through worship, we can say, “What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies” (Ps.118:6b,7).
The certainty of victory in the end, the knowledge of your present and sure help, your understanding of the fickleness and feebleness of man—this knowledge gives us the freedom to trust you in all, to praise in difficulty and disappointment. The victory you promise may come after death, but it will come.
“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes” (Ps.118:8,9).
You, Lord God, are absolutely trustable, while people are ever fickle; you are mighty, people are weak; you are eternal, people are fleeting; you are infinitely wise, people have very limited understanding and knowledge; you see all, people see only a tiny portion of reality; you know the future, people can only guess; you are good by nature, people are evil by nature; you are loving, people are selfish. So–who are we going to trust?
To trust in you is always wise, to take refuge in you is always good, to rest in you is always right. Praise be to you, Lord Jesus: Creator and King, Lord and Savior, Judge and Victor.
Prayer: “To you be glory in my life today and forever more. Help me to flee to you with each challenge, problem and difficulty, so the answer can come from you and bring you glory. Help me today to distrust myself and to trust you instead. Amen.”