Devotional Meditations

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Psalm 63:6-8

Posted on June 14, 2019 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

From A Psalm a Day, by Connie Lewis Leonard

“On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:6-8 New International Version

When we can’t sleep “through the watches of the night,” it is a perfect opportunity to count our blessings and sing praises to God in our hearts. As I read this Psalm, I thought of the song “Count Your Many Blessings,” which is one of 5,000 songs written by Johnson Oatman in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. The first verse tells us to count our blessings during troubled times when we are discouraged, “And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” Even in the worst of times, we can find much for which to praise God if we only open our eyes to see. The second verse of the song says that when we’re burdened with a heavy load, if we count our blessings our doubts will flee and we “will be singing as the days go by.”

The Bible contains many references about God’s wings. The metaphor illustrates the safety and refuge of the wings of God. His wings also carry us to safety (Ex. 19:4) and bring healing (Malachi 4:2). When we get tired and weary, if we wait and trust in God, He will “renew our strength, we shall mount up with wings like eagles, we shall run and not grow weary, we shall walk and not faint” (Is. 40:13).

We can also rest in the safety of God’s right hand, a metaphor for His majesty, power, and salvation. If we’ll take His hand, He will lead us beside still waters, in the paths of righteousness for His name sake, and be with us through the valley of the shadow of death. If we give Him our burdens and humble ourselves under His mighty hand, He will lift us up and exalt us in His time (I Peter 5:6-7).

Will you take refuge beneath the shadow of God’s wings?

Will you rest in the righteous right hand of God, allowing Him to lead you in the right way, the safe way?

If you’re down and out, reach up to God so He can lift you up.

Psalm 60:4

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

From A Psalm a Day, by Connie Lewis Leonard

“But you have raised a banner for those who fear you—a rallying point in the face of attack.” Psalm 60:4 New Living Translation

I just finished reading The Red Badge of Courage. Flags were extremely important during the Civil War, especially regimental flags because they marked the position of the regiment on the battlefield. Soldiers could become separated from their regiments, but the flags helped them find their way back. Once the protagonist Henry overcame his cowardice and received his personal red badge of courage, his wound, he took up his regiment’s flag and led the way into fierce battle.

When the Israelites engaged in war, the banner served as a rallying point, as a sign that God had sent them into battle, and He would give them victory. The bravest men were entrusted with carrying the banner. They carried it with confidence in the Lord. “Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered” (Psalm 60:5 NIV).

God’s banner over us is love. He has entrusted us with the banner of the gospel, the Good News of His great love. “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation’” (Mark 16:15 ESV). Just as God promised David and his army victory, He promises that His truth will be victorious. Jesus Christ won victory over sin and death, and when we accept Him as our Savior, we share in His victory.

Sometimes we lose sight of the banner and lose our way. We are attacked, and are overcome with fear and cowardice. But we can look to God and find our way back to safety. No matter how big our foe, how fierce our battle, we can say, “Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy” (Exodus 15:6 NASB).

Are you overcome with fear, worry, and anxiety?

Look to God and His banner of love. Ask Him to help you take your eyes off the battle and trust Him for safety, deliverance, and provision.

Psalm 57:7-10

Posted on May 23, 2019 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

From A Psalm a Day, by Connie Lewis Leonard

“O God, my heart is quiet and confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Rouse yourself, my soul! Arise, O harp and lyre! Let us greet the dawn with song! I will thank you publicly throughout the land. I will sing your praises among the nations. Your kindness and love are as vast as the heavens. Your faithfulness is higher than the skies.” Psalm 57:7-10 The Living Bible

Can you sing His praises whether you’re on the mountaintop or in a deep, dark valley?

“His banner over me is love.” Song of Solomon 2:4b

Psalm 56:3-4

Posted on May 17, 2019 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4 New International Version

“When I get really afraid I come to you in trust. I’m proud to praise God; fearless now, I trust in God. What can mere mortals do?” Psalm 56:3-4 The Message

Cancer is a scary thing. In my novel Big C, little c, the main character is diagnosed with breast cancer. Through the course of the book, she discovers that Christ is bigger than cancer or any other crisis of life. The book ends on a hopeful note. Her cancer is in remission, but one of the most frightening things about being a cancer survivor is the ever-present threat that it may return or metastasize into a more deadly form.

I had cancer, I’ve had two aunts, many cousins, and other relatives by marriage who have had cancer. Some of us have been cancer-free for years. Others fought the good fight and won the ultimate victory over death when God carried them to heaven. What an amazing witness to hold on to faith and trust in Jesus through all the pain and suffering.

Cancer is a frightening diagnosis, and the treatment for those who have to undergo chemo and radiation is almost as bad the illness itself. And the victim isn’t the only one who suffers—everyone who loves the person suffers along with them. Parents lose children, children lose parents, spouses lose their mates, siblings lose their soul mates, and the world often loses gentle souls.

Another awful aspect of cancer is that it does not occur in isolation. Too often, it is like Murphy’s Law, and one crisis is compounded upon another. My cousin recently lost her husband to cancer. Within a year, she lost a son-in-law and brother-in-law to cancer, she lost a granddaughter in an automobile accident, and her brother is battling cancer now. Only by the grace of God can someone endure so much heartache.

Are you or someone you know facing a terrifying illness or situation? Ask God to take away the fear.

Take some time to search the Bible and find verses about fear. Some of my favorites are Psalm 23 and 17:1, Isaiah 41:10-13, II Corinthians 4:7-9, II Timothy 1:7, and Hebrews 13:5-6. Write your favorite verses on index cards. Pray the scriptures claiming His promises to you.

Psalm 55:6-8

Posted on April 26, 2019 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

From A Psalm a Day, by Connie Lewis Leonard

“So I said, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” Psalm 55:6-8 New King James Version

Do you need to get away for some peace and quiet rest? Come close to God and He will come close to you. (James 4:8 NLT).