Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Hope Springs Eternal (When it is Rooted in Truth)

Perhaps I am most restored to a sense of HOPE, when I receive and embrace TRUTH. When God makes a promise from His Word, not only is it true, but it is also certain to be kept.

Psalm 103 has been a great source of hope for me, because it contains many promises of God. King David exhorts the reader to ‘Bless the LORD’ and to ‘forget none of His benefits’, right in the first two verses. He then proceeds to list the many benefits of believing by faith what the LORD has said He will do, including;

"pardoning iniquities, healing diseases, redeeming lives from the pit, crowning us with lovingkindness and compassion, filling lives with good things and (perhaps my favorite!) renewing my youth like the eagle."

Those ‘benefits’ of placing my faith in the LORD give me encouragement and hope. He goes on to give us one of the greatest promises of God in all of Scripture:

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." v.11

As if that wasn’t enough to shore us up, he goes on to assure us with these wonderful truths:

"…the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting" (totally forever!) "on those who fear Him…" 

He continues by establishing the LORD’s supreme authority by saying:

"The LORD has established His throne in the heavens and His sovereignty rules over all."

Do you believe these promises are true? I HOPE that you do!

Dear Lord, May we not forget the greatness of your love. Help us to always remember how you have redeemed us, saved us, forgiven us, and how you now work in our lives to transform us.

Kinney Dehamel

Psalm 125:1-2

“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.”

In this season with elections coming up, I’ve seen and heard many people posing arguments in support of one presidential candidate or the other. I have seen arguments appealing both to rationale and insults. I’ve seen venom and vitriol from people of the world, which I expect, but also from the very mouths of those bearing the name of Christ.

It makes me wonder where we are finding our identity. Is our identity in our political positions? Is our identity in our own morality? Is our identity in our self – righteousness? All these identities are blasphemies against the work of Christ. They are idols that we make in our own hearts which degrade from the value that we see in Christ. These idols do not conform to the biblical mandate that we must decrease and He must increase.

I’m reminded in this Psalm that for those of us who belong to the Lord, our identity is that of a Child of the King and as such we, like the stalwart Mount Zion, can by no means in this world be moved or uprooted. We need not to defend ourselves from any oppressor, from any insult, from any attack. The Lord is our defender, and we may rest assuredly in the confidence that what the world has for us He will use for our benefit. So we may count it joy when we face trials. Though the wind batters the mountain, though landslide may scar its face, the mountain remains. Likewise, though trials may come to us, we, like the mountain, can endure unchanged at our foundation.

God, grant us the peace and faith to weather all for your glory.

Andy Brown

Psalm 131:2-3

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned
child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever
more.

This is a time in our history when many people have found their anxiety to be at an all-time
high, myself included. At the beginning of the quarantine, I realized that my mind was shutting
down emotionally. I wasn’t acknowledging or experiencing emotions in the same way that I
had been previously, and I believed this to be a product of my heightened anxiety. A coping
mechanism, and one that I had recognized in myself before. For months I have looked at this as
a negative thing, something that I should be ashamed of because I wasn’t “correctly”
processing my potential emotions. A lot of terrible things were and still are happening, so why
am I not reacting like everything around me tells me I should be? And then I came to read
Psalm 131, specifically verses 2-3. They read, “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a
weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the
Lord from this time forth and forever more.”

Perhaps what I believed to be a potentially harmful coping mechanism was actually the hand of
the Lord protecting me from what would have surely been an overwhelming deluge of
emotions? As my life has settled into a new normal and new routines have begun to form, my
emotions have returned and my mind has “woken up” and is able to process events again.
There has been no delayed reaction, no explosion, no waterfall coming from within me, but
rather an acceptance of things past and a tentative hope for the future. I read this passage and
recognized within myself a similar feeling of a quiet soul. Where once I was upset at my own
inability to conform to emotional norms, I now only have gratitude for the Lord and his love and
goodness in protecting me through the gift of a quieted soul.

Dear Lord, you are the God who formed us. In you we live and move and have our being. Come
shepherd our hearts and quiet our minds as we trust in you our Savior. Amen.

– Ashley Serraglio