Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm .... As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me .... Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you. Psalm 55:1-8, 16-18, 22-23
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We talked yesterday about the necessity of God's people having the kind of love and compassion that God does. We need to know the actual condition of our inner person and how what is going on in our own heart, mind, and soul affects the flow of love and compassion from us to others. Perhaps the key to getting in touch with our own mind, heart, and soul is found in our hearing directly from someone who suffered much and was thoroughly downtrodden. Today's passage allows us to see the inner workings of the Psalmist, who was such a person and very clearly reveals to us his mind, heart and soul. The impact of his words on you will reveal whether or not you are the kind of person who has care and concern for the suffering of others.
The kind of person who has care and concern for the suffering of others is one who is able to have the kind of love and compassion God has for those who are suffering and downtrodden. We become this kind of person when God's mission for the world becomes our purpose for life and we are liberated from being driven by self-interest, self-preservation, and self-exaltation. This is the kind of person whose Christian walk matches their Christian talk. This is the one who is in step with God, hears his voice of leading, and springs into action and provides the kind of help that actually does something about alleviating the pain and suffering of those who are downtrodden in today's world.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I am telling you right here and now that I choose to be one whose purpose in life is the mission you have for this world. I lay myself bare before you and ask you to root out anything and everything within me that stands in the way of your using me fully for your mission for the world. Transform my mind, heart, and soul so that I am filled with love and compassion for the downtrodden. Show me what you want me to do today that will help alleviate their pain and suffering. Amen!
For 1.6 billion people in the world today, a lack of financial resources means that men, women and children don’t have access to basic necessities like food, clean water and adequate healthcare. Empowering the most vulnerable to realize their economic potential, World Relief and local church partners teach volunteers financial and agricultural methods that benefit not only individuals, but also entire communities. Through simple savings techniques, small loans and successful agriculture production, vulnerable people around the world are breaking free from the chains of poverty.
(This is the fourth of the five emphases of “World Relief.” May it guide you in prayer and giving as you further join God in whatever response he is calling you to. There is not necessarily a correspondence between the “World Relief” emphasis and Devotional theme for today.)
Posted on Thu, November 17, 2016
by Alan Porter