“Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.
When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!
By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.” Psalm 65:1-8
Trouble in the cities, and the secret counsels of men. Sins against us, sins enflamed within us; bitter words sting from without, bitter hearts foment within. Rebellion flames in crowds, rages on airways, stirs turmoil in minds and wills. When the world and its ugliness prevail, we can turn to God who is worthy of prayer, praise, and hope. In grace, He chooses to draw us near. His courts are the place of blessing.
We can sing these songs. We can practice praise. We can perform vows of spiritual disciplines that keep us near His heart, His thoughts for the world and for us. Our flesh can rest in His atonement, our spirits find goodness and be satisfied in His holy presence. Let us come!
Let us decide to hope! To expect and listen for His answer! To rejoice in His free salvation– salvation from condemnation, despair, fear, insignificance, loneliness! Let us lift our eyes to marvel at His awesome deeds in creation, to consider His vast and exquisite beauty, to delight in His boundless and purposeful creativity, to rejoice in His radiant and glorious splendor, to exalt His unmatched and limitless power! Let us exult in His faithfulness and steadfast, unfailing love with the going out of the morning and evening and His signature in nature of awesome signs! Let us remember and recount His deeds of kindness, guidance, and meeting needs; of comfort, provision of strength and wisdom, peace!
“O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.
Your bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in you do we trust, nor find you to fail.
Your mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!” ~Robert Grant (1833)
Gracious God, keep me in awe of, and satisfied in, You alone.