Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Psalm 103:1-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live[a]
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
In Psalm 103 we have the beautiful, poetic, timeless wisdom about the nature of God that enables us to leave the past in the past and move forward into the future. It is a beautiful expression of the love and grace of God, the forgiveness of God and new beginnings. The psalmist is full of thanksgiving because of the nature of God:
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
Are you carrying around extra baggage that is weighing you down? Guilt? Shame? Painful memories? Destructive habits? Negative attitudes? Is it time in this new year to let go and receive the grace of God?
Our God is not just a God of the past, but of the future. Our God is One who says again and again, “Behold, I am doing a new thing.” (Isaiah 43:19) “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) I am sure of this: whatever is hurting you, whatever is holding you back, whatever is keeping you from the fullest possible experience of life, God wants to gather it up and remove it “as far as the east is from the west.”
God is not in the condemnation business, God is in the redemption business. God looks at our past not to find ways to condemn us, but to discover what’s holding us back, so that God can take it away and free us for life in the future. That’s what God is interested in, not the past, but the future!
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster