Daily Devotional: Psalms 81:1-7
1 Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! 2 Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre. 3 Sound the ram's horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast; 4 this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 5 He established it as a statute for Joseph when he went out against Egypt, where we heard a language that we did not understand. 6 He says, "I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. 7 In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
James had said earlier that we should rejoice when we suffer various trials, as our suffering will cause our faith to grow. We, as the children of God, have every reason to rejoice and to be happy. We do face problems and we do face all kinds of trials but in it all, we have a God who loves us and who is protecting us from the evil one. He limits our trials, based on our spiritual maturity. He gives us the strength to bear what we face, even when we do not see it in ourselves.
One of the great joys we have in life is the opportunity to pray to God and to know that he will hear us AND he answers us. We have all wished (like Job) that we could talk face to face with God and hear the answers immediately or that we could reason with him so we better understand. He never explained to Job and we may never understand all the “whys” either, but like Job we can be faithful.
This is true faith when we do not understand or we do not like what we are hearing or it just goes against our feelings, but we do it anyway to please God.
My Father and my God, I ask that your will be done in my life and not my own will because I know that you know best and I trust you to always do what is right, even when I do not understand. Help me use this Christmas season to give to someone that I do not know and use me (and what you have given to me) to bring some cheer and joy to someone who is hurting. When things are going good in my life, keep me from forgetting others who are struggling. I know that for most, this season is a time of joy but I also know that for many, it is a time of sorrow. Lift up their spirits and help them look to Jesus for help. I pray in his name.