Friday July 23, 2021
Today’s Reading: Psalm 88
I am counted among those going down to the Pit. I am like a man without strength, abandoned among the dead. I am like the slain lying in the grave, whom You no longer remember, and who are cut off from Your care.
Reflection: Hear the persistent cry that the LORD hears from His people who are in desperate need. It is a cry that laments weakness and tells of unbearable burdens. It is a cry that describes being overwhelmed by the trials of the world. It is a cry that expresses fear of being far from God, in the darkest places of the Pit, abandoned and forgotten. The psalmist ascribes his suffering to the LORD. Notice he doesn’t say that he has been wronged by God. Instead, the psalmist’s prayer implies that he has wronged God. He accepts the LORD’s righteous wrath as deserved punishment. However, He does not shy away from the LORD. He seeks Him in his anguish. In his isolation, in his sorrow, in his sinfulness, the psalmist cries out to God, Who he knows is able to show faithful love.
The times we realize our wrongdoing against God are the best times to flee to Him. The times when we are most convicted of our sin are exactly when we should cry out fervently for His forgiveness. Guilt and shame have a terrible tendency to cause us to hide from the One Who can take our sin away. Even as we bear the heavy weight of our sin, God listens to every prayer that comes from a repentant heart. Do you feel near to the LORD today? Praise God for the grace He has given to keep You in His safety. Do You feel far from the LORD today? Praise God that He is good to draw near to you as you turn to Him. Sin is no longer powerful against those who put their faith in the One Who has rendered sin powerless against Him.
Prayer: Almighty God, I praise You that You are powerful beyond compare. Nothing and no one can stand against Your strength. I recall with joy Your great Victory over sin and death and am amazed that You would achieve this Victory for my sake. Thank You, LORD, for being so good to me. I acknowledge today my great need for You every moment. For I am a sinner who would be lost without Your unfailing love. Please forgive me, LORD, for the sins that I have done against You. Forgive me for when I have failed You and when I have forgotten You. Forgive me for the times I have not reflected Your grace fully to others. Please grow me to serve You better and to surrender completely to Your marvelous ways. I lift up this prayer to You in the Name of Jesus my Savior, AMEN.
Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Bible, studytools.com): John 20:19-31; 2 Chronicles 32; Psalm 88