1 O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You; my soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate and thoughtfully focus on You in the night watches…
11 But the king will rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him [honoring the true God, acknowledging His authority and majesty] will glory, for the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.
Note: This week’s devotions are a series called “Faith Forward” written by Brian Harriett. If you’d like to write for us, please contact Pastor Joe.
Have you ever noticed that many of the Psalms move forward from fear to faith? King David frequently began by lamenting his trials, troubles and doubts to the point where he openly questioned God.
One example is Psalm 63, in the wilderness of Judah. In verse 1 his longing runs deeply to God during current peril in “a dry and weary land where there is no water.” In verse 6, David “remembers,” “meditates,” and “thoughtfully focuses” on God. He then moves in verse 11 to rejoicing in God, stating that “everyone who swears by Him will glory.”
Many of these Psalms were sung by penitents moving forward up the hills to the Temple in Jerusalem, celebrating the High Holy Days of the Jewish faith. In moving myself forward, a favorite hymn is “Onward Christian Soldiers” written by Reverend Baring-Gould in 1865 England. He needed a “martial-type” hymn for his village children to march forward with neighboring towns for a Sunday School rally.
Other scriptural reminders of Jesus urge us forward. He directed his disciples to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). Also recall what he told the Seventy-Two in Luke 10:2: “The harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.”
Loving God, Serving People, and Transforming Lives are all part of Medford UMC’s hopeful new normal. We move forward in faith, trusting that as God has been with us over the past 200 years, God will be with us today, tomorrow, and 200 years into the future.
By Brian Harriett
For Pondering & Prayer
What keeps you moving forward when you just want to go back to bed and throw the covers over your head?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, lead us from Old Testament Psalms to New Testament urgings as we demonstrate obedience and “faith forward,” moving ahead in God’s will. Amen.