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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, August 15, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
    and put their trust in the Lord.

Happy are those who make
    the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
    they would be more than can be counted.

Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
    but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
    you have not required.
Then I said, “Here I am;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance
    in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help within my heart;
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.

Do not, O Lord, withhold
    your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    keep me safe forever.
For evils have encompassed me
    without number;
my iniquities have overtaken me
    until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
    O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let all those be put to shame and confusion
    who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who desire my hurt.
Let those be appalled because of their shame
    who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God. (NRSV)

Reflection
Psalms 40 reminds us that God is not through with us yet. It reminds us of God’s power to hold us during good and bad days. God does something about life’s challenges, circumstances, and events. The times we live in are ever-changing. In Psalm 40, David states he waited patiently on the Lord, though circumstances found him in a sticky (miry clay) situation.

We live in a time of anxiousness—everything is sped up—rapid response, faster Internet, quick response to almost everything. Don't forget fast food! Patience is hard to come by. Given the recovery period from the pandemic that we are experiencing, adjusting to a different norm requires patience.

Times are changing; life challenges and circumstances may look grim, but God’s love never changes.

Paul's letter to the church at Rome, in Romans 8:38–39, reminds us that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God. Wait patiently on the Lord.

Prayer 
God, our only hope, teach us how to wait patiently for you. Renew our strength as we face life's challenges and circumstances. Let us continually depend on you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. 

Written by Ruben Harris, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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