Daily Devotional: Psalms 71:19-21
19 Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? 20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. 21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
One of the greatest things we have for which we can be thankful is the assurance that God is with us and no matter what we face in life, he will protect us. When facing the many trials of life, we know he will be with us and he will use what we encounter to make us better – more like him. There is nothing that can build character, patience and compassion as much as our own suffering. As we learn to trust God, we grow in our faith. The more we see and know his deliverance, the more we are able to release our anxieties to him. Even when we fail a test and we sin, we are made more aware of his love and his forgiveness which strengthens our own compassion, our love and our forgiveness toward others.
When we think of being thankful, we list all the material things we have and the stuff in our lives. We are indeed blessed with nice houses, cars, clothes, and then all the technologies and luxuries which abound in our lives. These are wonderful and we do need to be thankful for them but they pale in comparison to the spiritual blessings in Christ. In him we are the children and family of God.
We can also be thankful for the lessons we learn from adversity. These give us the opportunity for our faith to be tested and for us to know and show it is real. As when Abraham offered his son Isaac and God said that now he knew he would do whatever he asked because he had not withheld his only son. Each time we pass a test of trials, we learn to more deeply depend on God.
O Lord, my Lord, God of heaven and earth, I thank you for your love for me and for your deliverance each time I am faced with trials in my life. You have carried me through physical problems, broken relationship trials, financial issues and so many other things. As I look back and see these things, help me use them to make my faith stronger and then let them prepare me to help others also. As I receive your comfort, help me share it with others who are suffering too. So even though they are difficult, I thank you for the trials of life. Please give your peace to those who are suffering because of their faith. I pray in the name of Jesus.