Psalm 113:1-3

Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord, from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!

It is the day before Christmas Eve 2020, and this is the final entry in Deep Waters – Leroy Chapel’s one-year devotion on the Psalms. God firmly and lovingly held us as we waded through the turbulent waters of 2020. High tide and low tide, we were secure in the embrace of His everlasting arms. And while this will be the last devotion to be published under this project, we know that God will always use His Word to minister to us in many different ways in the new year.

Sometimes when I finish a project, I can’t help but be struck by the transient and finite nature of all that we do and all that we have here on planet Earth. Everything has a beginning and an ending. On this side of heaven, even the most significant relationships are temporary; hence the marriage vow “till death do us part.”

Today we reflect on Psalm 113, where the Psalmist invites us to praise and bless the name of the Lord. We, who consider ourselves His servants, are summoned to praise His name forever. Yes! Forever! Because of the Messiah who came to earth that first Christmas, and through His finished work on the cross, there is indeed an eternity to look forward to, for those who are in Christ. The author of Ecclesiastes tells us that God “has put eternity into man’s heart.” He meant for us to long for something much greater than the here and now, where we will enjoy His presence in glory. And in that glorious Kingdom, we will praise Him not just for a brief moment of devotion on a Psalm, or 90 minutes of Sunday service, but forever.

Nonetheless, even right here, right now, in this 2 nd advent while we anticipate the return of Christ our Bridegroom, we can live a life of worshipful waiting each day, from the rising of the sun to its setting. When the eyes of our hearts begin to see and be awed by the wonderful truth that we have been betrothed to no less than the King of Kings, praising Him will never be the same. We who are His bride, who stand secure in the love of the Bridegroom, will find sufficient grace to bless His name in all things and forevermore. Let’s do that. Everyday. Until He comes again. Praise the name of the Lord!

Dear Lord, as we celebrate your birth, draw our hearts deeply to you, our Messiah and coming
King. Remove the scales from our eyes, and help us to fix our gaze on you Jesus, the Author and
Perfector of our faith, that we may delight in all that you are, and praise you forevermore. Amen.

– Chat Baron

Psalm 117

Praise the lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm and the shortest chapter in the Bible, though it tells a Gospel story that is timeless. Charles Spurgeon said of Psalm 117 “it is very little in its letter, is exceedingly large in its spirit.” While the beginning and end of the Psalm has the same line, it is the middle of the psalm that has the Gospel reminder for us this Christmas. This holiday season has undeniable losses for all of us, in every nation. Living through a global pandemic has made suffering a constant struggle for every person. It’s inescapable! Just watching the news is disheartening as you listen to statistics and chaos that all the nations are experiencing. The wide chasm in opinions and the hostility is rampant. But the Lord reminds us in this Psalm that even in the midst of our heartache, he loves us and is faithful. The Lord’s stature towards his children has not and will not change. These two little verses promise us an exceedingly abundant grace. His love for us and his faithfulness will endure forever. It will endure empty seats at our Christmas tables. It will endure less presents under the tree. It will endure family dysfunction over conflicting opinions of the state of the world. It will endure the lack of Christmas festivities. It will endure the death of loved ones and it will endure a year of disappointments, too many to list. It will endure my little faith in the midst of long days where it just seems like the world is asking too much. The Lord’s love and faith endures, because Christ endured. He endured the betrayal of a close friend. He endured the trauma of abuse. He endured public humiliation and misrepresentation. He endured separation from his Father. He endured Calvary. He endured so that the Lord’s comfort of love and faithfulness will endure with us through every season, even a world pandemic. May our days start and end with “praise the Lord” and in between may we trust that his love is steadfast, and his faithfulness will not disappoint. Merry Christmas!!

Lord, create in us a heart that rests in your steadfastness and rejoices in your faithfulness. Give us the grace to endure because YOU endured and YOU equip us to endure, out of the abundance of your unfailing love and immeasurable grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Jill Butler

Psalm 145:17-19, 21

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name forever and ever.

Have you ever gone on a road trip to a place you’ve never been to and what should be five miles before the next turn, according to MapQuest, feels like ten miles? There have been times of driving to places, when I thought I knew where I was going but had to stop and ask if I was on the right path. Most times I was, but there were times I wasn’t and had no idea how in the world I was going to find my way! Thank God for Google maps! As a dear friend of mine and I would say on road trips, “We have all day! Let the journey begin!”

Life definitely has its uncertainties at times. Whether it be experiencing a layoff at work, raising a strong-willed child, going through difficulty in marriage, being hurt by others, or dealing with unresolved issues – the road is not only uncertain, but can be very long, unknown, lonely, and dark.
God’s Word- His precepts provides that clear path!! We will never always see His plans, or even know the entirety of His will to understand to move forward. But what is kept in darkness He brings to light! There is such freedom and certainty in His light, His path! He is the way, the truth, and the life! (John 14:6) He is my Shepherd that leads me – – to still waters and restores my soul.

When I’m unsure, I know I can call out to God and He hears me. He also fulfills our desires and saves us. (Vs.19) For David, he knew what that was like- times of uncertainty, hiding in the mountains from his oppressors. David’s faith and trust – his turning to praises in times of uncertainty, understanding God’s Sovereignty and love, is available even for us. Earlier in verse 14 of this psalm, it says, “He upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” He provides. He is faithful.

Let the journey begin— even in days of uncertainty my mouth will praise Him. For HE is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in love. Great is the LORD—most worthy of praise!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word, Your promises, that I can find rest, when I am lost, in times of uncertainty and unknown. Holy Spirit, as we live life, this journey, guide us with Your wisdom and discernment, help us to be that who bears fruit that reflect a life living for you so that others see the way to knowing You! May we find rest in knowing our Sovereign GOD who knows the plans, and have gone before us, trusting He knows the way as life takes uncertain turns. You are the light in times of darkness. Help our thoughts, because we are prone to wander. In Your Word we know all that You have done and continue to do. I am so thankful for your provision now and in the days ahead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Kim Miller