Let Hope Rise

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Standing Under Pressure   


We live in a world full of stress and anxiety. There’s no shortage of stress management courses, books, and techniques. We have meditation and yoga aimed at helping us deal with the pressures that hit us on a daily basis. If all else fails, many turn to tranquilizers, drugs, and alcohol in order to “take the edge off.”


Imagine having several groups of enemies seeking to kill you at every turn. Your name is being slandered as people make up lie after lie in an attempt to ruin you. Before long, even your friends and family start believing the lies. 


Fewer and fewer people want to be associated with you as they try to preserve their own reputations. You fully understand the concept of “social distancing” as people run the opposite direction upon spotting you.


Feeling stressed yet?


Adding to the above, you slip into a deep depression when you realize that some of your troubles are a result of your own sin. Wave after wave of shame hits you, sapping your strength and motivation to keep going. 


Finally, all of this emotional turmoil begins taking a toll on your physical health. You feel aches and pains down to your bones and you can barely get out of bed.


That’s how we find David in Psalm 31. Stress and anxiety would be an understatement as we read his raw and unedited words. This is precisely why so many have found themselves clinging to the Psalms throughout the ages. We can identify with David’s anguish because life isn’t always rosy and full of rainbows.


We also love David’s words because they offer us hope in the same God he cried out to over and over again. Because we live in the same broken world he lived in, we also encounter the same kinds of problems he encountered.


Like David, we’ll find ourselves crying out to God with similar emotions,


“Don’t let me be disgraced.”

“Listen to me.”

“Rescue me!”

“Have mercy on me.”

“You are my God!”

“I call out to you for help.”

“Praise the Lord!”



Regardless of what we face in life, like David, we can choose to stand in strength and courage as we place our hope completely in the Lord.  


Prayer…


“Father, we place our hope in You, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. There is no life apart from You. We are weak and fragile in our own strength. You are our strength and courage for anything we face. Replace our fear with Your faith. We trade in our panic for Your peace. We ask You to calm our chaos. In Your presence, demons flee. You are worthy of every ounce of praise and worship Your creation can muster. Fill us Holy Spirit that we might walk with courage and boldness everywhere we go. It's in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.”


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