A Promise, A Hope

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I woke up early yesterday morning—4:00 a.m. early. Rather than try to go back to sleep I went out into the living room to spend some time reading Scripture. I’m “between” reading projects so flipped open my Bible and read the first thing that appeared. It turned out to be Psalm 145.

The approach of a new year always drives the mind toward thinking about the future. This coming year, 2014, will be a time of transition for me. How, when, and what, are the questions that arise when I think of what might be coming around the next corner. But even in my rather haphazard way of choosing what to read in Scripture, God sent His Word to me.

Psalm 145:13b-16: “The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Psalm 145:19: “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.”

I confess that I am not really sure what I “desire” for this coming year. I don’t have a clear sense of where the Lord is leading. However I can ask Him to plant in me HIS desires. There can be no better outcome than to have Him fulfill what He has already made me hunger for.

But then this morning, the message of yesterday was confirmed again. My Bible opened this morning at Psalm 84. Verse 11 is one I have often claimed: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” The previous verse is a reminder that it is better to occupy a humble position and be in His will than to be in a lofty position in the enemy camp. He will reward faithfulness because He sees what others don’t.

I wouldn’t recommend this haphazard way of getting into the Word of God. There is nothing better than a systematic way of putting the “whole counsel” of God into one’s heart and mind. But every once in a while, God weaves together these less organized attempts to deliver encouragement and instruction. I'm grateful that He did this time.

As a new year dawns, I take heart in knowing that I can ride into the future on the back of the promises of God. I can know, and will know, the truth of some earlier verses in Psalm 84:

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God is Zion.

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