Devotional

Psalm 71- Part Three of Five

You Are My Hope, O LORD God

For You are my hope, O Lord God: You are my trust from my youth. But I will hope continually, and I will praise you yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of your righteousness and your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.  Psalm 71:5, 14, 15 NKJV

I recently traveled from San Diego to Tennessee. I didn’t know the way, but I was confident that the pilot of the plane did. I could have worried that the pilot would get lost, or that the plane would not have enough fuel. Instead, I sat in peace, able to read and write. I had the certain hope that I would arrive at the right location because the pilot knew where he was taking me.

Our Lord knows where we are going. He has our whole lives planned out before even one day has come about. He knows what each day has in it. He knows the direction and end point of the journey for each of us.

I know the Lord has everything in His capable hands, so why do I fret over the what-ifs of possible illness, or if my husband and I will be able to work until we want to retire?  Why do I get so upset by small things, like the item I can’t find at a given moment? Do you find yourself anxious about things beyond your control?

Why do we worry? Can it be that we forget who the LORD really is?

The Lord God is Sovereign. He is in control. Nothing happens without His knowledge. Satan couldn’t attack Job without God’s permission. (Job, chapter 1) When God gave His permission, He set limits to the attacks on Job. I don’t pretend to understand that. However, it is assuring to know that our righteous God filters everything through His hands.

In Psalm 71, the Psalmist shares his hope in God’s deliverance. He looks at the Lord’s presence in his past and knows that God will be with him in the future. This hope leads him to praise God.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, since my youth. …I will ever praise you. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. 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. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.  Psalm 71:5, 6, 9, 14, 20, 21 NKJV





Jesus Christ also had a certain hope. He knew He would endure pain, ridicule, betrayal, suffering, and ultimately, death. Yet He willingly chose to die on the cross for our sins knowing that he would live again, and that through Him, those who believe in Him would receive eternal life.

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We can have a certain hope if we are following Jesus. We can rely on our Pilot, the LORD God. He knows our journey. He will be with us, guiding us and providing everything we need.

Let’s take hope. Let’s remember who the Lord is. Writing out what God has done for us in the past also helps us have hope in the future. As we look at God’s faithfulness, may we praise the Lord!

Dear Lord God, You are my hope. I will praise you. When I waver, please strengthen me and help me to remember You are trustworthy. Amen.

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Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.

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Devotional

Psalm 71- Part Two of Five

The Lord is my Refuge

Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel. Psalm 71:3,4 NIV

Do you ever want to run off and hide? I do. I hear of war, disease, and of the shocking values being promoted to our children in public education, and I want to flee from the news. It’s overwhelming. Other times, a storm in my own life threatens to drown me, such as a great discouragement, or the cancer I had. I need a refuge, a place of shelter or protection from danger or distress. To me, a refuge is also a place where I know I am loved. The Lord is my refuge.

The Psalmists often wrote of the LORD being their refuge, their Rock, and a fortress.

David of Israel certainly saw his share of problems. Pursued by King Saul who sought David’s life, David lived his life on the run. Later, King David’s son, Absalom, usurped his throne. Yet David hoped in the LORD. The Psalms are full of David’s laments of his problems, his plea for God to act, and his praises for the LORD who delivered him. Consider a few:

Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me….You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.  Psalm 59:1,9, 16 NKJV

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2 NKJV

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How can we take refuge in the LORD?

 We can call to the Lord for deliverance. He loves us. He will deliver us. He will be with us through the storm. We can turn to Him when we are troubled and know He cares. He has the ability to see the whole picture. God will do what is best for us and for His purposes.

As our Rock, the Lord is immovable, permanent, and a firm foundation. He is our hiding place.

We can hide in the LORD, our fortress. A fortress brings to mind fortified castles or walled areas of defense. There is safety in a fortress because it is defendable. The LORD fights for us. Jesus already won the battle against evil when He conquered sin and death on the cross in our place.

Our enemy, the devil, loves to scheme and try to trap us. He seeks to devour us. He wants to kill our trust in God. If he can ruin our walk and our testimony or cause us to wallow in defeat, he sidelines our witness for God. The devil does not want us to grow in our faith. The enemy does not want us to share what Jesus has done for us. We can run to God when temptation comes. By keeping God’s Word in front of our attention, we can lean on God’s commands and guidance.  

May we, like the Psalmist, seek and find our refuge in God.

Lord, thank you for being my rock on which I can stand. You are my shelter of protection in which I can take refuge, and my fortress of defense. I love you, Lord. Amen.

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Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.

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Devotional

Psalm 71-Part One of Five

In You, O LORD, I Put My Trust

In You, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; Psalm 71:1-3 NKJV

I often put my trust in myself, not wanting to be disappointed by others letting me down. When I fail, I beat myself up for it. Trusting in things like cars, finances, or jobs doesn’t work either. Cars break down, finances fluctuate, and jobs end.

How much better it is when I put my trust in the LORD! There is no shame in Him. The LORD is my strong refuge to which I can continually go, knowing God welcomes me.

I’m learning to trust God more. One lesson is that God is faithful to provide. My husband, Cliff, was laid off from jobs as cell phone manufacturing and other technical jobs moved out of the United States. In 2008, Cliff was training his replacements in another country, so we decided I needed to rejoin the work force after years as a stay-at-home mom. Cliff was laid off a few months later. With the 2008 economic crisis, companies weren’t hiring. As unemployment stretched from weeks to months, our hope drained as fast as our savings. We both worried. Cliff applied to about 470 jobs, but only two companies interviewed him. I wondered if I should leave the teacher’s aide position I enjoyed and find full time work, but our high school aged son was not driving yet and we were his transportation. Our daughter was in college. The job search and financial situation seemed hopeless.

We were praying, but it took awhile to realize that God was answering our prayers differently for a reason. In the eight months that Cliff was unemployed, God was teaching us to trust Him to provide. Sometimes His provision was a meal or financial gift from a friend or from our church. Other times it was an odd job of house repair, or extra hours at my school. We rejoiced when Cliff was hired! Trusting God to provide was a lesson that we’ve reviewed. Another eight-month period of Cliff searching for a job in 2013 found me at peace, knowing that while it was difficult, I could trust the Lord to provide as He had done before.  A job loss doesn’t mean that God stops caring for me and my family.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Let’s trust God in our situations. Let’s rely on Him and not on ourselves. He has the best plans for each of us. He loves us. He hears us when we pray or cry. He delivers us in His righteousness.  As we recognize that, we can release our grip on our lives and allow the LORD to be in control. Even when life seems to be spinning faster than the washing machine spin cycle, we can choose to remember God’s faithfulness in our own life. Reading through the Bible passages will show us the Lord’s faithfulness to those in Bible times.

Dear LORD, help me to trust You instead of myself. When I rely on myself, my foundation is sinking sand that shifts with my moods and insecurities. Help me remember that You are my firm foundation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.

Top photo Image by Lisa Caroselli from Pixabay