A Prayer for Hope

The psalms are the prayer book of the Bible. This psalm is balancing many things: the greatness of God, the frailty of humanity, and the hope that the God of creation will also be the God of justice.

Meditate on these verses from Psalm 146:

1 Hallelujah!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

2 Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth,
for there is no help in them.

3 When they breathe their last, they return to earth,
and in that day their thoughts perish.

4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help!
Whose hope is in the Lord their God;

5 Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them;
who keeps his promise for ever;

6 Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,
and food to those who hunger.

7 The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

8 The Lord loves the righteous;
the Lord cares for the stranger;
he sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.

9 The Lord shall reign forever,
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

Several reflections:

First, regardless of our present circumstances, God is to be praised for who He is and for what He has done. We acknowledge the reality of our earthly life with its joys and sorrows, but we also look to another reality. To our last breath, we worship our God.

Second, the psalmist challenges us to not put our trust in mere mortals who control for a short time. Those who rule will pass away. They cannot compare to the eternal God.

Third, the rulers are indirectly contrasted with the God of creation. We can have hope in our present circumstances because we are in a relationship with the God who created the heavens and the earth. What can God not do? Nothing! God meets us in our suffering and can create ways for hope and joy to replace the pain. (We see in Jesus and God enters into our suffering)

Fourth, God is a God of justice. The wrongs are righted. The guilty punished and the oppressed freed and healed. God is our help. God heals. God cares for the downtrodden, the lonely, and those who suffer. God sets prisoners free.

Fifth, God is our God to all generations. The help and hope are not only for today but for every day and forever. This causes us to worship.

Regardless of where you are at today – God is with you and for you. We are invited into a life of hope, joy, and healing. Hallelujah!

One action step you can take this week: Aim to meditate on Psalm 146 each day of the following week, and let God’s hope and healing soak in deeply.

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