DAY 2 • DECEMBER 14
PSALM 80:1-7, 17-19
“Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Awaken your might; come and save us. Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved. O How long, Lord God Almighty, will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people? You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful. You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us. Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
“Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
Can you imagine having the audacity to pray like this? This is a passionate plea directed towards God who, according to the Psalmist, is sleeping while his people face insurmountable evil. This ancient prayer also contains an incredibly bold request: to restore Israel to their former glory. This prayer is filled with the anticipation of a better future. The author longs for the hope of God’s glory to be among God’s people once again. This is the same thing that we pray for every Advent season. Ultimately, the fulfillment of this prayer is the arrival of Jesus. He restores us to a right relationship with God and promises that he will return and renew all that is broken in this world. The creation will be raised to new life, just as he was. This Psalm teaches us to pray with bold anticipation and hope, especially when we are facing what feels like insurmountable circumstances.
Take time to thank God for the ways he has been present even in the midst of trial. Praise him for the ways he has delivered you from past sin and/or difficult circumstances.
Take time to listen to what God has to say to you. Is your hope misplaced? Is there an indicator of your well-being that is someone or something other than Jesus? Allow him to not only bring those things to light but also to speak life over you. Remember, a condemning voice is never the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Follow the example of the psalmist and be bold in your requests to God. Is there a sin that has a stronghold over your life? Invite his healing power to deliver you. Is there an adverse circumstance that you are facing? Ask him to change those circumstances for your ultimate good. Are you feeling alone? Ask him to show you he is always near.
Today send a text, email, social media message, or hand-written letter to encourage someone who has been an example of hope even in difficult times. Be specific with how that has made a positive impact on your life.
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