TAKE HEART

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, August 26, 2022, comes to us from Anoush Gill from Sindh, Pakistan.

1 The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. 3 Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him. 4 He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people: 5 "Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"

6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge. (Selah) 7 "Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.

8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me.

9 I will not accept a bull from your house, or goats from your folds. 10 For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine. 12 "If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and all that is in it is mine. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.

15 Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Psalm 50:1-15 NRSV

 

TAKE HEART


During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people experienced lockdown and were expected to stay home. This meant that suddenly people had a lot more free time and choices about how to use it. From Psalm 50:15 we know that whatever our situation, God wants us to pray and call upon him. In fact, God says that when we do, we will be delivered, so that we can give God all the glory and praise. God is loving and wants to deliver us from our troubles. When we face challenges, we find opportunities for spiritual growth and become more and more dependent on God, realizing that without God we are nothing. So let us be encouraged to repent from our sins and to spend more of our time reading scripture and in prayer.

 

-Friends,

In the challenging seasons of our lives, we can often experience opportunities for spiritual growth. Yet, we must remember, God is not sending us through trials to teach us invaluable lessons. On the contrary, many of the lessons learned during our challenging times are lessons God has been attempting to teach us for quite some time. Challenging times, like the Covid-19 pandemic, slow us down and remove the competing noises that hamper our ability to hear God. One of the great gifts of spending consistent time in God’s presence, is that it helps us more effectively attune our ears to God’s voice of direction. I invite you to allow the words of Anoush’s prayer to become an echoing mantra for you today.

--Pastor Anthony

 
Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and keeping us under your protection. Help us to grow closer to you, opening our minds to know your will. And in days of trouble, teach us to live and be like your Son our Lord, in whose mighty name we pray. Amen.

--Anoush Gill


Prayer Focus:

To use my time wisely


Thought for the day:

I will spend more time with God today.