Daily Devotion for July 13, 2014
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
A beautiful, beautiful anthem.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end...
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Music by Jean Sibelius
Lyrics by Catharina von Schlegel, @ 1740
Prayer of Ambrose of Milan
O Lord, who has mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ's sake.
Song of Praise
Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you heavens: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all people on earth: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
O people of God bless the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you priests of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit: bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart.
All Bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Almighty Father; I enter your presence confessing the things I try to conceal from you and the things I try to conceal from others. I confess the heartbreak, worry, and sorrow I have caused, that make it difficult for others to forgive me, the times I have made it easy for others to do wrong, the harm I have done that makes it hard for me to forgive myself. Lord have mercy on me, and forgive for all my sins against you and against others, through the grace of my Lord, Jesus Christ,
[How will I grow in Christ this week?]
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 126 (ESV)
When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion,
we were like them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
and our tongue with singing:
then said they among the heathen,
The Lord hath done great things for them.
The Lord hath done great things for us;
whereof we are glad.
Turn again our captivity, O Lord,
as the streams in the south.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him.
Note on Psalm 126
This is subtitled “A psalm of degrees” or a “psalm of ascents”. These psalms were written to be sung by Hebrews traveling to Jerusalem, as they climbed towards it from the dry plain. Many simply reference pilgrims on their way to one of the annual feasts, but some, such as 126, specifically reference returning from the Babylonian Captivity to Jerusalem, or by Jews in Babylon praying for their return. Later, they were sung in thanksgiving.
Faith in Times of Trouble
My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing. Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.
Cling to him and do not depart, so that your last days may be prosperous. Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient. For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him. You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not stray, or else you may fall.
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the Lord, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
Consider the generations of old and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed? Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken? Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected? For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of distress.
Notes on the Scripture
I know that you are having problems right now. Well, I know that I am having problems and I'm pretty sure you are, too. That seems to be the state of humanity. We have problems. If by some stroke of fortune you are not having any problems . . . you will.
Your problems may be things you can handle, or at least cope with; or they may seem insurmountable. People all over the world right now have incurable cancer, or children who are starving, or just got evicted from their home, or have no job and are running out of unemployment. The prisons are overcrowded. The neighbor's dog barks all night and keeps us awake. And nobody really understands why God made a world with so much trouble.
But we can cope, even with the worst life can throw at us. All of us will die. But once we know God, once we accept Christ into our hearts, even death itself cannot make us despair. Has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken?
When our troubles mount to the point where we think we cannot stand it, our faith and hope and love are more important to us than ever. The truth is that it is temporary and that God will save us. He is going to take away our pain and suffering. We know that our Redeemer lives and that he will not only save us, but will forgive our sins so that we might be saved. All we need do is believe. Sometimes our belief is challenged by the suffering of this world, but if there is one thing that nobody but ourselves can take away from us, it is our faith in Christ Jesus and the certainty that he will relieve our suffering.
Our inheritance is one of joy and happiness. The time is coming when the treasure we have laid up in heaven will be returned to us a hundredfold. The faith we show and the prayers we say in time of trouble are worth an enormous amount; Satan is trying to steal our heart with the misery life brings to us, and we must stay strong, because our reward is certain.