By Brooke Holt
“I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform vows to you, that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised, when I was in trouble. I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.” Psalm 66:13-16
As I have shared previously, my family has experienced a very challenging year. And while it has been heartbreaking, frustrating, and incomprehensible I can also say that God has been with us working in ways I could never have thought to ask or imagine. As I write, I can lift my eyes and look across the St. John’s River. I can hear the water fountains running in the ponds below my windows. That may not seem like much to you, but I absolutely love water. I love to behold the beauty of the water, and I am soothed by the sound of running water. God has surrounded me with his goodness to bring me comfort and peace in these trying times.
God is with me, with my husband, and is in every one of our circumstances. His presence does not remove the pain, but it brings peace. Beyond that, the Lord knows exactly what we need and when we need it. I can testify to the fact that God has faithfully and abundantly provided what we needed throughout this ordeal.
The psalmist also testifies to God’s faithfulness and work throughout Israel’s ordeals. When they were enslaved in the land of Egypt, they cried out to the Lord, and he rescued them. In their wilderness wanderings, the Lord faithfully led and provided for his people. Despite their grumblings against the Lord, he remained faithful and steadfast.
Here, both the psalmist and the nation of Israel are enjoying abundance living in the Promised Land. How are they to respond? They are to offer burnt offerings and thank God for all that he has done for them. The psalmist calls himself and all of God’s people to proclaim the goodness of the Lord. One powerful way God's people will do this is by telling the stories of God’s faithfulness to their children and grandchildren. They will celebrate the feasts in which they remember and retell the stories of God’s faithfulness, and they celebrate the various feasts as he commanded (Feast of the Passover, Feast of the Unleavened Bread, Feast of the First Fruits, Feast of the Weeks).
You have your story, your journey with the Lord, and you too must remember God’s faithfulness, to retell the stories of what God has done, and to praise him for his work and presence in your life. Stories shape our lives. The question is what stories shape your life, the lives of those you love, and then the generations to follow? The stories you share will make an impact for many generations yet to come. Join the psalmist and bless the Lord, offer yourself before him, and thank him for all that he has done.
How have you experienced God’s goodness, faithfulness, and provision? How has he heard your cries and rescued you? How has he guided you through the most difficult times of your life? Take some time today to remember God’s faithfulness, to praise him, and then ask him who needs to hear your story today. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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