Daily Devotional: Psalms 119:153-160
153 Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. 154 Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees. 156 Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to your laws. 157 Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes. 158 I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word. 159 See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love. 160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
1 John 3:3-6
3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
The more devoted we are to God and to living for him according to his word, the happier we will be in this life. Paul said we are to rejoice in the Lord always. He also said we are to be anxious for nothing but with thanksgiving we are to pray and let God handle things. Jesus also said we are not to worry about things.
But Satan wants to steal our joy. So he tries to convince us that we find our joy in perfect obedience. When we are honest about it, we see we are not perfect and as we trust in our doing the will of God, we become frustrated. This frustration has led many to just give up on serving God because they continue to fail. The other side of this is for us to be like the Pharisees and become proud of what we do right while overlooking our faults. This leads to self-righteousness where our own understanding becomes the standard instead of God’s word.
Both of these steal our joy in Jesus Christ. The more devoted we are to him, the more joy we will have in him. Our trust is in God, our hope in Jesus and his work on the cross for us. We rejoice in God’s grace and honestly seek to be like him in humble obedience in all things but realizing he will forgive us when we fail.
Heavenly Father, I love your word because it reveals your saving grace. It also reveals your will for me and gives me reason to try with all my might to be like you in all things. But you also give me your Spirit to strengthen me and to nurture his fruit in my life, molding me into your image. When I face hard times, help me trust you more. When temptations come, open my eyes to see the way of escape you provide. When life is good and everything seems to be “going my way” help me not to trust in myself but to lean on you and your word. In Jesus name.