Joy in my Hope “The hope of the righteous brings joy…” (Proverbs 10:28A)

Father, watching above,

Son, interceding,

and Spirit within me,

Lord God,

How great Thou art!

Thank you that I awake to behold the outskirts of Your ways! Cool weather tickles my bones, and I rush to warm myself by the stove with a cup of coffee to help awaken me. Revive me with Your Word, which is more valuable than gold, more treasured than this breakfast, more precious than all the temporal bliss around me. Thank You that the morning brings me message of Your unfailing love, which is more certain, more faithful than the sunrise itself. I breathe in Your air by the grace You give me today. Your mercies are renewed afresh on me again; Your compassion is truly strange.

Lord, it is amazing that true fear of You is provoked and cultivated in my wayward heart when I just consider the love You showed to sinners like me in the past. When I consider how Jesus, God in the flesh, looked with compassion on the multitude as sheep with no shepherd. When I consider Your way with blind men who everyone else rejected. When I think of Your words and actions toward the debauched woman at the well. When I consider Your patience with Your hardened disciples. When I remember how You wept over Lazarus’ death, and how You raised Him in Your power. When I recall the Voice who calmed the tumultuous sea while He dwelt below… how You honored the sinful woman who wept, broken over Your feet, anointing them with tears of sorrow for sin and overwhelming joy that she had finally found everlasting hope … how You restored Peter while he still lingered in shame and doubt … how You gave grace to the humble centurion and healed his servant … how You healed the son of the man who admitted the unbelief in his heart to You … how You opened the hearts of Your disciples to teach them how all of the Law and Prophets were speaking of You … how You promised to be with us until the end of the age … how You saved Saul in his resolute persecution of the church, and satisfied him in all of his trials … When I consider these things, I know it is Your mercy that makes a sinner’s heart melt from its cold, stony state. It is Your love that gives me confidence to confess. It is Your grace that overwhelms me that I cannot cease my sobbing, both over the disgust of my atrocious sin that is against Your beautiful face, and over the incomprehensible declaration and promise that I am completely cleansed from all of it. Praise the Yahweh-God! Your love endures forever.

This past month has been difficult for me. […] It is Your Word and the gospel that saved me and is now sustaining me as I write my praise to You. […] I was a beast before You, and You had to (and still have to) break me before I completely forsook the faith to follow my fleshly passions and deceitful lusts, which will lead me straight to hell if I don’t gauge out my eyes and hack off my hands for purity sake. Thank You for being faithful to discipline. […]

Oh, Dad, You are faithful in all seasons. My prayer is that You will let my roots run deep in Your love, my heart filled with Your Word, so that the drought seasons or hurricanes will not find me believing the certainties of despair that claim that I am hopeless and lost, completely cut off from You. Fill me now with Your truth and a disdain for despair’s certainties, for they are not sureties. Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, so that when my heart fails me, and I cannot praise just yet, I will proclaim, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Train me to trust in Your Word, so that I, like Job, will worship through tears, shaved head, and ashes…and like Job proclaim Your attributes and marvel at Your wisdom, hidden and revealed, though I struggle with despair and believing You are fair.

Thank you for the reminder this morning, that “the hope of the righteous brings joy” May I feed upon Your faithfulness today, and continually awake to open my Bible and make myself happy in Jesus.

In His name I pray,

Amen.