December 1, 2015

Psalms 68:19-20 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.

I actually have little idea why this particular Psalm was included in the listing I have of Advent Scriptures, nor why I chose it for today, except that the Lord knew I would need it today! I have sung verse 1 and verse 4 set to music for many years, and I have used verse 6 many times in various contexts. However, right now it is verse 19 that especially resonates in my soul. Jesus specified that we are to take up our crosses daily, (Luke 9:23) but that is possible because of what is stated here, that He daily carries our burdens. We are responsible to apply ourselves and make the choice of obedience, but when we do that, we discover that the power comes from God. When Paul talked about how much he labored for the Gospel, he specified that it was God’s power working in him (Colossians 1:28-29) that made it possible. When we are faced with impossible tasks – and especially when that includes putting one foot in front of the other on a daily basis – we need to remember this passage, that it is God who daily carries our burdens. He is faithful, which enables us to be so as well.

Emotional exhaustion is a very real issue for me at the moment. As the pastor of a small church, a great deal devolves on me. At the same time I am considered the “elder” of the local ministerial association, which also means more pressure, and none of that includes the secular teaching I do, and it’s all complicated by health issues. Christmas has been high-stress for me for quite a few years, but this year seems to set a new record. I need to remember this passage, as well as the messages the Lord has spoken through me just recently. The Luke and Colossians references above are from within this past month! I am in a constant practicum of the truth the Lord allows me to speak, which is probably a good thing. My concern is that I not yield to the “fight or flight” impulse but choose to trust and obey on a moment-by-moment basis, allowing God’s peace and His power to flow through me by His Spirit, touching those I am with and drawing them to Him, instead of withdrawing and/or lashing out, as my flesh prompts me to do.

Father, thank You for this clear Word. Thank You that I was asked to speak at the prayer breakfast on the 16th – yet another responsibility, yet opportunity. Help me indeed make full use of the opportunities You provide (Ephesians 5:16, Colossians 4:5) so that as many as possible may be drawn to You in repentance and faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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2 Responses to December 1, 2015

  1. charlie says:

    I didn’t mean to put in such a long comment. I only meant to post comments on Psalm 68:19-20. I can’t edit it. Here’s what I meant to post. I hope you will delete the longer comment, and leave this one – taking out this first paragraph, which would make no sense once the first comment has been deleted.
    Here are a few more thoughts, which I hope will be a blessing to you.
    God is ‘our salvation’. He is the ‘God of salvation’(Psalm 68:19-20). God’s salvation covers our past, present and future. (a) You have been saved. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we have received the forgiveness of our sins (Romans 5:1). (b) You are being saved. God is at work in our lives, making us the kind of people He wants us to be (Romans 5:3-5). (c) You will be saved. We look forward to ‘sharing the glory of God’, being with the Lord forever (Romans 5:2,9-10). From beginning to end, salvation is the work of God – He has forgiven our sins. He is making us like Christ. He will lead us on to heaven. Our God is great. His salvation is great. Let us ‘be joyful’. Let us worship the Lord ‘with joy’(Psalm 68:3). Let us give all the glory to God – ‘Blessed be God!’(Psalm 8:35).
    God bless you.

  2. charlie says:

    I see that both of my comments appear on your blog. I can’t delete or edit them. If you’ve read the comment I meant to post, could you delete the three comments? Leaving them as they are is so confusing. By the way, the reference at the end of my second comment should be Psalm 68 – not Psalm 8. May God bless you and make you a blessing to others.

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