APRIL 20

 

Read | Psalm 66

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!

    Sing the glory of his name;

    make his praise glorious.

Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!

    So great is your power

    that your enemies cringe before you.

All the earth bows down to you;

    they sing praise to you,

    they sing the praises of your name.”

Come and see what God has done,

    his awesome deeds for mankind!

He turned the sea into dry land,

    they passed through the waters on foot—

    come, let us rejoice in him.

He rules forever by his power,

    his eyes watch the nations—

    let not the rebellious rise up against him.

Praise our God, all peoples,

    let the sound of his praise be heard;

he has preserved our lives

    and kept our feet from slipping.

For you, God, tested us;

    you refined us like silver.

You brought us into prison

    and laid burdens on our backs.

You let people ride over our heads;

    we went through fire and water,

    but you brought us to a place of abundance.

I will come to your temple with burnt offerings

    and fulfill my vows to you—

vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke

    when I was in trouble.

I will sacrifice fat animals to you

    and an offering of rams;

    I will offer bulls and goats.

Come and hear, all you who fear God;

    let me tell you what he has done for me.

I cried out to him with my mouth;

    his praise was on my tongue.

If I had cherished sin in my heart,

    the Lord would not have listened;

but God has surely listened

    and has heard my prayer.

Praise be to God,

    who has not rejected my prayer

    or withheld his love from me!

Respond | Gabrielle Dearduff

I pray about a lot of things throughout the day. For me, some prayer topics are simple and repetitive: “Thanks, God, for the food.” Some feel weighty: “Please guide me into this unknown future.” 

 

But something about trials really brings me to seek God in new ways. When I am at the end of my rope, I am brought before God into a new dance of surrender.  I realize I am not in control. Have we ever been in control? 

 

Psalm 66 reminds me of Romans 5 and its take on suffering. We have lots of questions, doubts, fears; yet, in the midst of it all, we persevere and we hope. Romans 5:3-5 states, “Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” 

 

As I look back on the different forms of trials in my life, I am reminded that somehow God was faithful and things worked out. It’s often hard to remember that during present suffering. We all experience suffering in different forms during this lifetime. The psalmist remembers that the entire earth is in God’s care, even through the hardships. 

 

Trouble won’t last always. And that is something to sing about. 

 

Mighty God, you hear our prayers—the ones we have shouted, cried, or sung. You see our dreaming and our fighting. You know us, even in our silence. You are God who hears our prayers. Envelop us with your peace and meet us in your great mercy, now and forevermore. Amen. 

 

Write down one prayer that’s been on your heart. Share with a trusted friend. Ask your friend if you can pray for them. Pray together.

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