Joy That Lasts

Note: This is the first in a three-part series on Psalm 63. A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will…

A Psalm for Pandemic

In this long post, we’ll walk through Psalm 37 in light of the global coronavirus crisis. David’s prayer, in very different circumstances, offers us much in the way of insight, strategy, and hope.   Do Not Fret Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and…

An Invitation to Joy

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. 2 For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth. 3 He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. 4 He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. 5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King…

Be Still and Know

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be…

These Are His Waves

Psalm 42 is one of my favorite psalms, as the psalmist takes his troubled soul in hand and marches it toward newfound hope in God: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (verse 5). Some years ago I preached on praying ourselves into hope through this psalm. In these troubled times, it may be worth listening to again (or for the first time).…

Yet Not What I Will

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible…

The Last Supper

Note: Today’s devotional is a guest post from Kyle Bjerga. 26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for…

Is This the Apocalypse?

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner…

Palm Sunday in Pandemic

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 23 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. 25 Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. (Psalm 118:22-26a)   On Palm Sunday, the Christ of Israel enters Jerusalem as his passion draws near. With surprising boldness, he sends his disciples before…

The Trouble I Feel

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. (John 11:33)   Scripture informs us that Jesus, being fully human, shared in all our human experiences (Hebrews 4:15), including feeling the whole range of human emotions. Though Jesus felt all that we feel, the emotion the Gospel writers most frequently ascribe to Jesus is troubled (Matthew 26:37; Mark 14:33; John 11:33; 12:27;…