Psalm 117:1-2

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!

Have you ever experienced an event that changed the course of your life and rocked your world never for it to be the same ever again?

At 41 years old, after 21 years of marriage my husband broke our marriage vows. After a painful year, we were divorced, as he decided he no longer wanted to be married. My world was shaken, I felt paralyzed and went in a serious depression. I could not see past the pain, I felt hopeless and thought everyone would be better off without me. I fell into a pit of despair.

It was in this pit that I first encountered God’s mercy. He met me in the pit and saved me from myself. He walked alongside of me, pulled me out and placed me on His solid ground. He used many people who walked with me and pointed me to the truth of who God is, what Jesus did for me, and how the gospel could transform my life. I have been a child of God for 29 years. I am grateful that He shows me every day that He loves me in spite of me. He has forgiven my past and helped me forgive. That drastic event that made me feel life was over brought me instead to the one who saves! I tried to do it my way and He showed me His way.

Fast forward 29 years. I have recently celebrated 25 years of marriage to a wonderful godly man. Together we have grown in our love for our Savior. There have been many challenges; family relationships, finances, and health issues but He has shown us over and over how faithful He is. His truth and love endure forever! He loved me in the pit, He loves me today and will love me tomorrow. I truly praise the Lord from a grateful heart.

Are you struggling to believe God’s faithfulness in your life? Let’s pray.

Lord, even when we sin, you remain faithful. Thank you for your forgiveness. Help us to reflect on the many times that you have shown us your mercy, and praise you for those times. Help us remember the many times you have shown us your grace, and give you thanks for those moments. Grant that we may extend your mercy, grace, and forgiveness to others. We praise you for your steadfast love that endures forever. We put our faith in you, our unchanging and faithful God!

– Rita Heinz

Psalm 56:13

For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

I believe to fully understand the word “death” we need to go back to Genesis. This is the very term the serpent used to deceive Eve, because there was no death before the fall. The serpent caused them to doubt God for the false promise of something better. This sin severed their relationship with God, making them, and their descendants, dead to Him. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death”. Our sinful nature makes us dead to God relationally. The bad news is there’s nothing we can do to restore this, but God promised, through Jesus, to defeat the power of what makes us dead to him, restoring what was lost, fulfilling the promise, to those who believe.

Union with God is life, separation from God is death. Ps 56:13 further says He delivered “my feet from stumbling.” As we live between the “already and the not yet” the Holy Spirit guides us in our journey, draws us closer in relationship, so that we may walk in His light, and live as branches in the Vine, that is Christ.

Righteous Abba, search us and know our hearts, test us and know our anxious thoughts. See if there’s any offensive way in us and lead us in the way everlasting.

– Bill Koehl

Psalm 119:71

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

Affliction is not naturally desirable. Our human nature flees from it, yet the command of the Lord, to consider it good. It is not that affliction for its own sake is our calling, but rather, we are to seek the results of affliction that grow us in the increase of our faith. Christ commands us to “take up our cross and follow him” daily. This imagery cannot be any clearer. Taking up our cross and following Him means going to our death.

This death is not necessarily physical death, though such ultimate sacrifice may in certain situations be the call, but rather death to the self. To follow Christ genuinely will invariably involve dying to self and results in the termination of the natural man in us. This distinguishes us Christ-followers from the world in that, as the Psalmist states, we can rejoice in affliction. We can call it good. For as we near our destruction, our own insufficiency becomes much more apparent to us. Our faith in God grows out of this visible necessity; and God who is trustworthy will prove such faith in Him to be well-placed.

Dear Lord, help us to have the heart of this psalmist, to consider everything that you bring to us as good and may our eyes and our minds see You more and learn your statutes as You walk us through. Put to death our human nature, and grow us in our faith.

– Andrew Brown