Before you start reading this devotional, take a moment to stop what you’re doing, slow down and focus on Jesus.
Pray and ask him to open your eyes to see as you read the scriptures, and to open your ears to hear as you wait on the leading of the Spirit.
1 How joyful is the one
whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered!
2 How joyful is a person whom
the Lord does not charge with iniquity
and in whose spirit is no deceit!
3 When I kept silent, my bones became brittle
from my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was drained
as in the summer’s heat. Selah
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not conceal my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately.
When great floodwaters come,
they will not reach him.
7 You are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and show you the way to go;
with my eye on you, I will give counsel.
9 Do not be like a horse or mule,
that must be controlled with bit and bridle
or else it will not come near you.
10 Many pains come to the wicked,
but the one who trusts in the Lord
will have faithful love surrounding him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice,
you righteous ones;
shout for joy,
all you upright in heart.
After six days of quarantine, a sick wife and daughter, friends being laid off work, a dishwasher and television that both randomly stopped working and unceasing rain, joy is one of the last words I would use to describe my experience of this past week. I love health, structure, rhythms, sun and normal life, but last week was everything but normal – and thus began my incessant grumbling and complaining.
“Why is this happening?”
“I miss having people over.”
“Is the rain necessary right now?”
“I don’t have enough cold brew.”
“Please just make it all stop, Jesus.”
“This isn’t fair…”
Grumble… Complain… Whine… Repeat.
By Friday morning, the Spirit began convicting me of my moodiness and brought to mind the beautiful reality of the Gospel. In difficult times like these, we may not have a ton to celebrate, yet David, in Psalm 32, gives us an anchor for joy in the midst of torrential times.
Psalm 32v1: “How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!”
Many of us have been inadvertently taught that in order to grow in joy, we need to compare ourselves to the misfortunes of others. “At least I am not sick” or “At least I still have my job” – but finding our joy in comparing our circumstances to others is a recipe for selfishness, pride and misery. Our joy and happiness must not be rooted in health, sun, work or normal days. As Christians, our deepest joy is found in the reality that our sins have been forgiven! Our greatest problem was not financial, physical or emotional – it was spiritual. We were enemies of the King of the universe, but through His gracious work, He has made us His children.
Psalm 32v7: “You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance.”
God does not grumble or complain when He forgives and delivers us. Jesus did not go to the cross with a grudge, but joyfully endured what we deserved so that we could have Him. He surrounds us with joyful shouts of deliverance. Let this bring a smile to your face: God is more excited about your salvation than even you are. He forgives us to bring us close.
Psalm 32v11: Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.”
How can we do this in the midst of COVID-19 and quarantine? By lifting our eyes from our current circumstances – no matter how difficult or easy – to see the King of Kings shouting over us, “Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!”
Respond to God in prayer by speaking to Him about what stood out to you from this passage this morning.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you this morning?
What are you going to do in response to what God is saying to you from the text and by the Spirit?