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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, July 16, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 25:1–10

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
   do not let me be put to shame;
   do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
   let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
   teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
   for you are the God of my salvation;
   for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
   for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
   according to your steadfast love remember me,
   for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
   therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
   and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
   for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. (NRSV)

Reflection
It is easy for me to say “I trust in God,” but the truth of the matter is when I face life challenges, my faith diminishes. When times of crisis or uncertainty are present, I rely on my own strength. When I fail, I begin to explore other resources for help. I fail to realize that I have access to the greatest power in the entire universe, which is able to do more than I can think or ask. To truly trust in God simply means that you turn to God when bad things happen instead of turning away.

What happens to the average one of us when we receive an unfavorable diagnosis or the boss informs us that our position has been eliminated? Can you trust God, if your spouse moves out or asks for a divorce? Is it easy to trust God during these painful times of uncertainty?

The psalmist provides us with an important lesson. All hope, trust, and reliance should be in God. Doubts and fears will surface. “In God We Trust” is a statement that is all too common. It is a proclamation that is included in the Pledge of Allegiance, the fourth stanza of the national anthem, and even printed on our currency. Sure, it is an easy phrase to recite or even sing, but it is often not easy to live.

“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust.” To lift up one’s soul is shorthand for placing one’s life and all the events that occur in exclusive and complete dependence on the Holy One, who loves us with an everlasting love. To trust in God is to own and recognize one’s absolute reliance on God.

If you will put your trust in God, in good times and bad, you will quickly see how deeply God cares for you and how God really works all things together for good.

Prayer
Loving God, forgive us when we place our trust in self before relying on you. Help us to remember your great faithfulness and to look to you first during times of distress. Amen.

Written by Robert Crouch, Director of Volunteer Ministry

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