Read: Psalm 107
Here are the bookends to this psalm that invite us to give thanks to God for his unfailing love, even when we fall flat on our faces:
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.
The invitation is there, let us ponder our God this morning with wisdom.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
Their story. What is your story? How have you seen the Lord work in your life in ways that are difficult to explain? There is something about telling a story that is powerful. It somehow moves hearts by relating events that can encourage and strengthen others. Whether a Christ follower or not, stories can be engaging. The Apostle Peter has an amazing story, perhaps that’s why he reminds us:
…always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… 1 Peter 3:15
I think about this verse often because it’s important to be able to share the Gospel with others from our own personal experience. It’s one thing to say, “the Bible told me so…”, but a completely different thing to say, “this is why I believe Jesus is the Lord of all.” Go ahead, I challenge you to write in your journal, to complete this sentence,
The reason I have hope in Jesus Christ is _________
I would love to have a mash-up video of people of all types providing their responses with powerful music building behind the faces. These are stories that are inviting because their not so lofty (if not embellished). Lord, help us to tell our story for the benefit of inviting others into your story.
Each of these stanzas in this powerful psalm reminds us of the ways our Lord has redeemed us:
- 4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
- 10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
- 17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
- 23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
The words that follow provide assurance after assurance that our God will reach into the wastelands, the darkness, the roughest seas and save his people.
I believe there will be times he saves FROM the trials that are beyond our ability to manage, but most of the time I believe he saves us IN the trials.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18
My friends have heard me say this too often as a means to comfort and encourage. Our God is able to deliver us, but even if he chooses to let us perish from this mortal life, he is still the God I will worship. Please understand these words burn me as much as anyone. The smoke from the furnace is all over me these days, I cannot escape the trials.
Today I no longer ask God to relieve me of the pain of trial, instead I simply ask him to give me strength to make it through the ordeals so I can tell the story of how he answered my prayers and led me through the darkest hours.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Give thanks to the Lord, his love endures forever. Tell someone your story today.