Encounter With God 23rd August 2020 Devotional – Reasons To Be Cheerful
TODAY’S TOPIC: REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
Opening Prayer: Lord, we shout for joy over belonging to You.
Read PSALM 66 – For the director of music. A song. A psalm.
1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
2 Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to you,
they sing the praises of your name.”[a]
5 Come and see what God has done,
his awesome deeds for mankind!
6 He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the waters on foot—
come, let us rejoice in him.
7 He rules forever by his power,
his eyes watch the nations—
let not the rebellious rise up against him.
Encounter With God 23rd August 2020 Devotional
8 Praise our God, all peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;
9 he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.
10 For you, God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.
11 You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.
13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings
and fulfill my vows to you—
14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
when I was in trouble.
15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you
and an offering of rams;
I will offer bulls and goats.
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
a Psalm 66:4 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 7 and 15.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Meditate: Encounter With God 23rd August 2020 Devotional
“Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, / who like thee his praise should sing?” (Henry Francis Lyte, 1793–1847).
Think Further: Today’s psalm is packed with praise. The psalmist shouts and sings joyfully, while urging others to participate in a worldwide festival of praise (1–4). It seems strange that joy is effectively commanded as well as praise (1), because joy is an emotion. How can we be commanded to produce a feeling? Yet joy is the appropriate sentiment for those worshiping God (6).
How do we get this joy? Sometimes people try to work it up. Focusing on their emotions, they make it their aim to experience joy. Sometimes worship leaders try to whip up excitement, telling people they should be “feeling more,” but this psalm points out a different way. Rather than trying to work us into a joyful state, the psalmist simply points us to God.
There are two invitations central to this psalm, “Come and see…” and “Come and hear…” (5,16). We are directed to pay attention to God’s saving work. He brought his people out of Egypt, protected them, and ultimately led them into the Promised Land (5–12). Furthermore, this salvation story has become deeply personal for the psalmist, who has a living relationship with this saving God (16–20). All these things are true for us: we have been rescued by Jesus and are given a wonderful hope for the future. God refines our faith (10) and leads us forward. Such is his amazing love (20).
If we pay attention to God’s leading and his covenant promises as the psalmist does, we will have fuel to feed our praise. If the flame of worship—and of joy—is burning low, then the way to rekindle it is to add fuel to the fire. As we reflect on this psalm today, may it function as the kindling which ignites joyous praise to our Savior God.
Apply: Reflect on your salvation and the ways God has refined your faith and answered prayer (10,20). Turn these thoughts into praise.
Closing Prayer: Lord, thank You for taking the time to hear my individual prayer as I remove iniquity from my heart.
ONE YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN
Proverbs 31 / Psalms 95,96
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