14 The Lord was my strength and protection;
he was my saving help!
15 The sounds of joyful songs and deliverance
are heard in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s strong hand is victorious!
16 The Lord’s strong hand is ready to strike!
The Lord’s strong hand is victorious!”
17 I won’t die—no, I will live
and declare what the Lord has done.
18 Yes, the Lord definitely disciplined me,
but he didn’t hand me over to death.
19 Open the gates of righteousness for me
so I can come in and give thanks to the Lord!
20 This is the Lord’s gate;
those who are righteous enter through it.
21 I thank you because you answered me,
because you were my saving help.
22 The stone rejected by the builders
is now the main foundation stone!
23 This has happened because of the Lord;
it is astounding in our sight!
24 This is the day the Lord acted;
we will rejoice and celebrate in it!
So many of the psalms take us on an emotional journey. Psalm 118 is no exception.
Feeling our way through the psalms often takes us on an emotional journey through everything from anger and sadness to grief, longing, and then fear and rejoicing. Perhaps the emotions expressed within the psalms are the grounding way through which we sense the Almighty down through the ages.
For today, I wanted us to think and pray over a psalm that reminds us of God’s steadfast love at its core. I wanted to pick some parts of a psalm that reminds us to rejoice, even when there has been difficulty – even danger – all around.
That’s because today, I just had what seemed like a frustrating beginning. It was a day in which little things were going wrong and I was making mistakes and adjustments all along.
So when I read about the foundation stone that was at first left aside by the builders and then chosen, I heard this message: my God loves me, mistakes and all. My God is steadfast, my rock. I may waiver in doubt or ability, but not my Lord. God’s love and commitment are steadfast.
Even in our flawed and foibled lives, our God loves us and is always faithful. Our Lord knows us and saves us, even when we or others cast doubt. Even when we doubt our own goodness and ability, our Lord loves you and me.
Because God, you are “my saving help,” I will remember to sing your praise. In all times and ways, we will remember to rejoice and celebrate!
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
In the early church, the foundation stone or cornerstone also became a reference to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the Rock of our Salvation! This psalm reminds us not only of God’s steadfastness, but is also one example of the prophecy of the coming of Jesus. How is Jesus the cornerstone of your life? How does knowing that God is with you in your frustrations and failures help you to remember to rejoice and be glad? How might you write your own psalm of salvation or celebration?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to sing your praises because you are my rock and my salvation. You are my foundation. I will rejoice and celebrate You! Amen.
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