Eternal Light, thank you for shining into the darkness of this world and illuminating my path as I walked in your righteousness today. I pray that in those moments of sin, you forgive me. Give me strength to resist evil and walk as you have called me. As night falls, my you grant me protection from the enemy, renewal of heart and spirit, and grace to live ever faithful to you. In the blessed name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Daily Archives: December 8, 2021
Psalm 103 (ESV)
Bless the Lord, O My Soul
103 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Isaiah 40:25-31 (ESV)
25 To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might
and because he is strong in power,
not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
“They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31)
Every human being has times of discouragement, times when we “faint and grow weary…stagger and fall” (Isaiah 40:30). It’s easy to identify with Jacob when he says, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God” (40:27). It’s in times like these that we are most vulnerable to the lies and half-truths of the devil. And so the prophet in today’s Scripture lesson gives us ammunition against such attacks.
Sometimes our situation seems so hopeless that we are convinced there is nothing God can do for us. But Isaiah reminds us to lift our eyes to the power that God displays as he holds the whole universe together. Nothing is impossible for God!
Sometimes we feel as if God doesn’t know what’s happening to us. Here, Isaiah reminds us, “His knowledge is beyond scrutiny” (Isaiah 40:28). Not even the smallest detail escapes his notice.
It’s tempting to think that God has more important things to worry about than our little lives. But again Isaiah corrects us: “He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound” (Isaiah 40:29). This promise also puts an end to the lie that God doesn’t care about our struggles or trials.
We may think that we don’t deserve God’s help and that we may even bear part of the blame for how things have gotten so bad. But don’t get mired in guilt. God’s mercy is always available, even when we don’t deserve it. That’s the definition of mercy after all! Yes, “he pardons all your inquiries” (Psalm 103:3).
When thoughts like these arise, don’t just wish things were better. Christian hope is an active virtue. It urges you to bring your need to the Lord and leave your problem in his capable hands. Then you can expand your heart by praising him for his power, his knowledge, his wisdom, and his unconditional love. Finally, see if there is a step you can take that will help build God’s kingdom – some act of service you can do. Isaiah promises that if you do, you’ll find your own strength invigorated.
Bless the Lord, O m soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits (Psalm 103:1-2). Amen.