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Something to read

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

- Psalm 130:1.

Something to think about

This reading goes right to the root of what we really trust in as the source of our hope and confidence, especially when we face times of personal failure and anguish at letting God down.

This psalm is one of the Psalms of Ascent written to accompany and assist the pilgrims as they made their way to Jerusalem. It is hard to consider the celebration of worship in Jerusalem when we are currently located in the depths of despair. That was the reality and position that the Psalmist found himself in. It seems that the despair was grounded in the disappointment of failing God and the Psalmist was probably feeling hypocritical about their intended purpose of worshipping in Jerusalem. 

The despair was broken by the Psalmist realising that he was not unique in failing God. He understood that God preferred to forgive rather than keep a record of wrongs. So the Psalmist’s confidence was lifted as he rediscovered a God he could count on to forgive and restore. His hope was in God’s unfailing love and the overflowing supply of God’s redemptive mercy. 

Something to do

We need to realise that despair is a very tough place to be in. Despair is often self-induced because we load ourselves up with guilt and self-accusation. Yet God is waiting for us to cry out and trust him with the broken shards of our self-esteem. We must stop counting on our fallible nature and rest in the faithfulness of who God is. 

Something to pray

Redeeming God, help me to release my own feelings of unworthiness, to stop beating myself up with those mental replays of my failures. Help me to ascend from my place of despair into your joyous presence where there is unconditional love and acceptance. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Dr. Leigh Goodwin, assistant director of mission for Assemblies of God, at the time of writing.