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Psalm 40:1-10, Reorientation, Part 2: A New Song

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods.
— Psalm 40:4

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, July 7, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

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Main Idea: Faith is a practice of awareness of what God has done, and the interpretation of our life’s experiences in light of God’s faithfulness.

Faith is a delicate expression of experiences and interpretations of our experiences that we have collected over a lifetime. When things go well, we learn what works. When things go badly, we learn who we can rely on, and how we can find strength despite challenges.

Because faith is built upon our experiences, those experiences will only become meaningful if we first become aware of the things around us, and second, make meaning of it all.

The psalmist first notices that the Lord has been faithful, “he drew me up from the desolate pit...and set my feet upon a rock.” His awareness of the Lord’s hand in redeeming events helps him assign meaning to his suffering and then deliverance. For those who trust in the Lord despite their struggles, the outcome is happiness. The psalmist makes a direct connection between his faith throughout his struggles to God’s faithfulness to him, and the result is pure joy. It is a joy so sweet, it must be proclaimed to others, “I have told the glad news of deliverance...see, I have not restrained my lips.”

Cultivating awareness is a life-long process. Often, we go through life on auto-pilot, unaware of the subtle and obvious signs that God’s faithfulness is abundant in our lives. We can develop practices that help us nurture our awareness—mindfulness, meditation, prayer, yoga, yes, even golf. The more we practice these things, the more readily awareness will come to us.

Making meaning of the things we observe is also a life-long practice. Here too, we can develop practices that help us nurture our meaning-making by surrounding ourselves with others who are also seeking to make meaning—in worship, Bible studies, conversations over coffee, phone calls with shared tears and laughter.

Abundant God, you have been forever faithful to your children. Draw forth our praise and gratitude for all that we have received in your name, and through the grace of Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.

Earlier Event: July 6
Psalm 131, Psalm of Trust
Later Event: July 8
Psalm 30, Of Thanksgiving . . .