URC Daily Devotion 19th May 2024

Sunday 19th May 2024
 
Psalm 31
In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free,
hear me and speedily rescue me.

Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.

Release me from the snares they have hidden
for you are my refuge, Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
It is you who will redeem me, Lord.

O God of truth, you detest
those who worship false and empty gods.
As for me, I trust in the Lord:
let me be glad and rejoice in your love.

You who have seen my affliction
and taken heed of my soul’s distress,
have not handed me over to the enemy,
but set my feet at large.

Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I am in distress.
Tears have wasted my eyes,
my throat and my heart.

For my life is spent with sorrow
and my years with sighs.
Affliction has broken down my strength
and my bones waste away.

In the face of all my foes
I am a reproach,
an object of scorn to my neighbours
and of fear to my friends.

Those who see me in the street
run far away from me.
I am like a dead man, forgotten,
like a thing thrown away.

I have heard the slander of the crowd,
fear is all around me,
as they plot together against me,
as they plan to take my life.

But as for me, I trust in you, Lord;
I say: “You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me
from the hands of those who hate me.

Let your face shine on your servant.
Save me in your love.
Let me not be put to shame for I call you,
let the wicked be shamed!

Let them be silenced in the grave,
let lying lips be dumb,
that speak haughtily against the just
with pride and contempt.”

How great is the goodness, Lord,
that you keep for those who fear you,
that you show to those who trust you
in the sight of men.

You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plotting of men;
you keep them safe within your tent
from disputing tongues.

Blessed be the Lord who has shown me
the wonders of his love
in a fortified city.

“I am far removed from your sight”
I said in my alarm.

Yet you heard the voice of my plea
when I cried for help.
Love the Lord, all you saints.
He guards his faithful
but the Lord will repay to the full
those who act with pride.

Be strong, let your heart take courage,
all who hope in the Lord.

Reflection
Psalm 31 is classed as a psalm of lament but there is a lot of praising and thanksgiving for what God has done and continues to do for the writer and us, the readers.

We hear how difficult life is and – let’s be honest –  in the 21st Century, we have a lot more anxieties…more countries are in conflict with one another, right-wing politics are on the rise, more countries are taking an isolationist stance, and disunity is increasing. 

Then we have more individual issues, social media is having a devastating effect on younger generations and their mental health, the Internet is now dominant and many older folk are left feeling isolated and left-behind;  not even a call centre worker to talk to as now it’s all online and you don’t speak to anyone!

But even when life is hard we can continue turning to God knowing that God will be there; we can truly trust God, and have confidence in God’s faithfulness towards us. God is responsive to those who call on God, we have seen throughout Scripture up that it is in God’s nature to save and deliver God’s people when they cry. Now that doesn’t mean that bad things aren’t going to happen to us. Prayer is not a magic spell. We will still get sick, we will all still die, and we will still encounter those who dislike us or who are jealous of who we are or what we have, but even when the bad stuff happens, we can trust that God is there, it’s a quiet confidence in God’s love and God’s willingness to help. 

It can be hard to trust that, but when push comes to shove believe that God will be there with us. And that is why we praise and thank God.

Prayer
God of Sanctuary
We know that we can turn to, rest in, and rely on you.
You know how hard life is; you hold us and protect us.
We don’t say it enough, but mean it when we say:
Thank you. 

God of Sanctuary
You walk with us all the days of our life.
We know that we can share everything with you.
We believe and trust in you and your saving love.
Amen.

 

Today’s writer

Kirsty-Ann Mabbott, Church Related Community Worker, Ansty Road URC, Coventry

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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