To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust, do not let me be ashamed; do not let my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Psalm 25:1-4
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Personal enjoyment and a sense of well-being are important to us. We count a lot on the good experiences that come to us from the people and circumstances of our lives to give us the personal enjoyment and sense of well-being we need. When we have personal enjoyment and a sense of well-being, we say we are “up” and when we don’t, we say we are down. A powerful “yo-yo” syndrome overshadows everything as daily life vacillates between the good and bad experiences that come to us from the people and circumstances of our lives. We know that our relationship with God is supposed to help us overcome the “yo-yo” syndrome of an up and down life, but it’s easy to slip into a way of looking to God that is twisted, counterproductive, and harmful to us.
Our Scripture today says, “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” This is not something we do very readily when we slip into a wrong way of looking to God. Often, we can muster little more than, “To You, Lord, I lift up my troubles.” Granted, God says, “Cast your cares on me because I care for you.” However, this must not be our starting point. When lifting up our “troubles” to God is our starting point, it is likely that God has become to us little more than the “fixer” of our lives. We look to him with the hope that he will “fix” things so that once again good experiences come to us from the people and circumstances of our lives that give us the personal enjoyment and sense of well-being we need.
Our “Devotional Set” for this week looks to the Psalms for help at looking to God in the best possible way, particularly in regard to difficult relationships and experiences with tough people. Both of these are ingredients of today’s passage. We will talk about the tough people in our lives throughout the week, but for wrapping up today’s devotional and our start of this week’s considerations, let’s just see how our passage helps us look to God in the best possible way. Personal enjoyment and a sense of well-being must come from God directly and must not be dependent on the quality of our relationships with people and circumstances..
When we are depending on people and circumstances and are merely looking to God to keep them “fixed,” we have a significant “trust” problem. To be sure “up” and “down” will be our plight. We must become like the Psalmist above, who said, “O my God, in You I trust.” He was able to trust in God, because he had learned the vital spiritual discipline of routinely making the “lifting up of his soul to God” his starting point. The next thing the Psalmist routinely did was to “wait for God” with his “soul “lifted up” before Him. As you can see from the passage, he did this while being smack dab in the middle of very difficult relationships with “treacherous” people. We have a lot to learn about looking to God in the best possible way, don’t we? Even the Psalmist knew he had more to learn as we see from his words, “Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.”
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, raise me up into your presence. To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. I know that this is the key to being consistently “up.” And yet, I see that I must seek You and not just an experience from you of being “up.” Show me your ways and paths so that my trust is truly in you and you alone. Amen!
Posted on Mon, August 22, 2016
by Ken Hart