Since I began my own pilgrimage of faith, I have been surprised many times by joy in circumstances where I would have expected sorrow. The truth of the verses of today’s passage, in my own experience, has really grabbed my attention. It’s very easy to fall into a pattern of simple bible study and forget that the Lord himself can, and often will, actually speak directly to you as you read his holy Word. I have been going though a particularly difficult time of uncertainty and readjustment over the past year, and at times, I have been right at the bottom of the valley of weeping. And yet, because of the Lord’s gift to me of faith and the fellowship of my church, I have found genuine refreshment and true blessings of hope. And so I feel a real confidence and joy that I will continue to grow in the strength of the Lord, and I will get to appear before Him on this pilgrimage.
Psalms 84:5-10 NLT
5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
7 They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.
8 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer.
Listen, O God of Jacob. Interlude
9 O God, look with favour upon the king, our shield!
Show favour to the one you have anointed.
10 A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
It seems to have become a bit of a habit of mine, in these daily devotionals, to share my own testimony of how God has shown himself, or how the scriptures that I read each day, can be seen to be true. My goal therefore is to embrace this habit and look for ways to expand it into my daily life. Having done quite a lot of ‘theory’ through reading and writing about scripture, it is probably time to start practicing the more ‘practical’ side of testimony. It is time to open up my faith to those who surround me who have no knowledge of the Lord. It is time to share my passion for God and my longing, not only to be in his presence, but also to be open enough to show his presence to those who need to know him. You only need to hear from God once to understand what truly matters in your life.
Jeremiah 23:21-25:38, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17, Psalms 84:1-12, Proverbs 25:15