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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, October 13, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 80:7–15

Restore us, O God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved.

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
   you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
   it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
   the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea,
   and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
   so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
   and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts;
   look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
   the stock that your right hand planted. (NRSV)

Situations become increasingly difficult when you realize the outcome is totally out of your control and you are unable to do anything to change your condition. During these times, life can seem unfair.

At some point in life, you may find yourself overcome by seemingly impossible circumstances like cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, unemployment, or infertility. These situations can shake you to the very core. There will always be days when difficulties and hurts challenge us. Life happens. Difficulty will come.

In Psalm 80, the people are experiencing a near impossible condition. The Psalmist is asking God to deliver them, fully aware their only hope is for God to intervene. Three separate times the Psalmist cries out for deliverance. With each cry the urgent plea gains energy. Restore us, O God; Restore us God Almighty; Restore us, Lord God Almighty.

When you experience difficulty, what happens to you is not as important as your response. The Psalmist, with a strong sense of purpose and assurance, realized the importance of seeking God for deliverance. We can feel stuck in difficulty forgetting to look to God for rescue from our condition.

The Psalmist punctuates the salvation of God, “Make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” Seeking the face of God is the first step in turning around a challenging situation.

If your life is without difficulty, you are extraordinarily blessed. For the average one of us, life is not without trials and tribulation. When trouble comes, remember there is a loving God who is able to deliver. Like the Psalmist, pray sincerely. Never give up praying until an answer comes. You may not be able to change your condition, but God can.

Eternal one, restore us; Let your face shine on us so that we may be saved from the very things that frustrate and distract us from realizing the hope we have in you. Amen.

Written by Robert Crouch, Director of Volunteer Ministry

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