God's Work in Ministry
Prayer Journal: To begin your daily worship today, grab a pen and paper and write out a prayer to God. Not sure what to write? Try using ACTS to frame your prayer. Begin with adoration for who God is. Then move on to confession – being real about where you have fallen short in the last day or two. Give thanks to God for all that He gives (including forgiveness for the sin you just confessed!). And then finish with supplication – with your prayer requests to God. When you are done, tuck this away somewhere (so you can read it later and see how God has answered your prayers) and then move into hearing from God through His Word.
How can I Get Through This?
by Elaine Pierce
David wrote Psalm 34 when he was running for his life. Take a few minutes and skim through 1 Samuel chapters 19 - 21. You will read about how King Saul was desperate to kill David - he was insanely jealous of his many battlefield victories, and he was determined to get rid of who he saw as his greatest rival. David hides in caves; he even acts like a madman when he thinks that Achish, King of Gath, will betray him to Saul.
So this psalm was written in the midst of great personal strife and danger. His life was on the line. Keep that in mind as you read the psalm. When he wrote, 'the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,' he had first-hand knowledge of what it was like to be in a situation that looked hopeless.
So how did David respond to adversity? He looked to God's promises of comfort and deliverance. He reminds himself that 'the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to his cry.' He recognized that he couldn't solve this mess on his own. He also has practical advice for how to face your enemies: Don't lie. Do good. Seek peace.
We can say, well, I'm not David. I didn't slay a giant. I am not anointed to be the King of a great nation. These lofty words don't apply to me. You and I may not be kings, but we are created in God's image. Yes, we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139, yes, it was also written by David). And God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. And when we face trouble - and we will - the only way to get through it is to cry out to God as you are 'crushed in spirit.'
No problem is too small for him, and certainly no problem is too big. Chances are, no one is trying to kill you right now. But you may be facing a difficult decision at work. Or you may be struggling with a broken marriage. Or you may be longing for a child. Or you may be facing a frightening health diagnosis. Or you may be feeling a lack of purpose and meaning. Whatever you are facing, God is waiting for you. Claim the promises in Psalm 34. His ears ARE attentive. He longs for you to bring your fears to him. He is worthy.