Psalm 130, 131, 132
The Psalms have brought tremendous comfort and guidance to so many for so long. Join me in taking a fresh look at each Psalm. As you read through them, I urge you to reflect, pray, and apply these devotional bits of encouragement to your own life. Today, we study and reflect on Psalms 130, 131, and 132.
Think about what Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection means for you. Among other things, it means redemption. It means God loved you so much that He came and died for you. He took your place on the cross. I know it’s hard to truly understand, but Jesus didn’t just have the whole world on His mind. He had you on His mind. He came for you. Remember, you are not a number. You are not just a face in the crowd. You are His child. You are a child of an eternal and compassionate God. He conquered sin and death for you. He redeemed you. He paid the ultimate price for your freedom and forgiveness. He sees you today. He understands what you are going through. He knows everything about you. He loves you more than you will ever be able to understand. Believe it. Thank Him. He loves you.
“Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” — Psalms 130:2-4, 7-8
As I read this short psalm I am challenged again to focus. When times are turbulent, confusing, uncertain or hard, I need to ask myself where my hope comes from. When times seem hopeless, when I am tired or discouraged, I need to ask myself what, or who, I am living for. Is it the applause of people? Am I living for myself? Is my true focus and deepest desire to honor Christ in all things? Every morning of every day I pray, “God may you find me faithful. May I calm and quiet myself before you. May I be free of pride, hubris, self-dependence, and self-importance. May I put my hope in you today and every day.” Focus on Christ. He is with you. He will guide you. He will never fail you. Amen.
“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.” — Psalms 131:1-3
This short verse holds one big idea: self-denial. We tend to not be good at practicing self-denial. Self-importance and self-centeredness is more our sweet spot, but Jesus says to be great is to be servant. To be first is to be last. To find life, you need to lose it in Christ. Jesus’ life is one of self-denial. Nobody did it better. No one lived out selflessness more clearly. He gave His all for others. I wonder what our lives, relationships, testimonies, and influence would be like if we denied self more completely. Jesus said, “If anyone is to follow me he must take up his cross, deny himself daily, and follow me.” Daily. Self-denial and discipleship are intrinsically connected. May God show us how we can be more like Him by denying self more completely.
“Lord, remember David and all his self-denial.” — Psalms 132:1