Daily Devotional: Psalms 84:1-7
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
As we embark on a new year and we face the uncertainty of what lies ahead, it is easy for us to expect the worst (in view of the past two years and how, according to the media, how bad things have been). But we are free to approach the God of the universe as He sits on His throne and we are the brother of His Son. He has given us eternal encouragement and hope by which we can face life and the new year ahead. This is the same God who promised to work all things together for our good, if we love Him as His called children. So we expect the best ahead!
We can look back and we can see things that we wish were different. We can dwell on the sorrows; we can be depressed by the mistakes and sins we have committed or we can leave that behind us and look forward to a wonderful year that begins with today. We may not be able to change what happens to us but we can determine how it will affect us and what we will do with it. Jesus is with us!
So my prayer for all of you is: May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thess 2:16-17) Lord, I ask for wisdom and strength to carry out what you want me to accomplish in this new year. Help me do each day what needs to be done and not procrastinate. Help me be more loving and more caring for others and to be an encourager to them. Thank you for all the wonderful things that you have done for me in the past and help me look with joyful anticipation to the future and what you have in store for me. Thank you for the family and the friends you have put into my life and for the joy they have given me. I know that some are hurting deeply and I ask you to give them a special measure of your grace and lift them up with your love. Be with our nation and with our leaders that we, our children and their children after them, will continue to have the freedom to freely worship you without being persecuted. Forgive me when I sin and fail to live up to your glory. Thank you for your love and your grace. In the name of Jesus I pray.