Happy New Year!
I’m so excited to tell you about our focus here at Counting My Blessings this year. I started praying and thinking about it months ago. And oh, how our gracious God knew what I would need, and as always . . . I truly pray that it blesses you too.
I’ve shared often that I am an emotional Sanguine. I FEEL everything. If I’m going to remember something . . . it typically will need to have an emotion attached to it. But that’s not hard because happy, sad, anxious, hopeful, stressed, curious, agitated, excited, and joyful . . . that’s me.
So this year’s plan is…
5-Minute Devotions Through the Book of Psalms
One of the things we learn when we study the book of Psalms is that God welcomes our honest emotions.
He gave them to us and He loves it when we go to Him with our joys, our sorrows, and everything in between.
The Life Application Bible Notes introduce the Psalms saying:
This great collection of songs and prayers expresses the heart and soul of humanity. In them, we find the whole range of human experiences expressed. David and the other writers honestly poured out their true feelings, reflecting a dynamic, powerful, and life-changing friendship with God.
“A dynamic, powerful, and life-changing friendship with God.”
Think about that for a minute, the God of the universe wants a friendship with you and me . . . so much so, that He sent Jesus to suffer and die for us.
So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.Romans 5:11
We can be friends with God because of sacrificial love. And like all friendships, this one too will grow closer through honest communication. The writers of the Psalms cried out to the Lord in fear and frustration. They praised and worshipped Him with joy and gratitude. They fell before Him in repentance and ran to Him for comfort and counsel.
Life is full of highs and lows. Yet, the Lord invites us to bring it all to Him.
He invites us to talk with Him about our lows so He can encourage and help us.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—Psalm 27:1
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
When doubts filled my mind,Psalm 94:19
Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
God is our refuge and strength,Psalm 46:1
always ready to help in times of trouble.
And when we’re enjoying life’s highs . . . He welcomes our gratitude and praise.
My life is an example to many,Psalm 71:7–8
because you have been my strength and protection.
That is why I can never stop praising you;
I declare your glory all day long.
The Lord is my strength and shield.Psalm 28:7
I trust Him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.Psalm 138:2–3
I praise your name for Your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for Your promises are backed
by all the honor of Your name.
As soon as I pray, You answer me;
You encourage me by giving me strength.
Those verses are just a taste of the life-changing encouragement the Lord wants to give us. So, I’m hoping you’ll subscribe to CMB if you haven’t already . . . that you’ll join us as we spend time studying, praying, and focusing on our friendship with God—our Creator, Savior, and Friend. And invite your friends to join us, too!
Praying to Have a
Life-Changing Friendship with God
Father God, I am touched and humbled that You would want a friendship with me. You gave up Your Son to make it possible. It astonishes me that You would do that for a sinner, like me.
I give myself to You, Lord. My words and actions, thoughts and emotions. You invite me to bring it all honestly before You. You have given me the gift of faith and through that faith, You have given me Your Holy Spirit. Through Him, You are able to give me everything I need for living according to Your will. (2 Peter 1:3) Your Word tells me that Your Spirit will lead me into all truth. Your truth. (John 14:17)
Your Spirit speaks Your love, wisdom, will, and guidance to my soul, my mind, my will, and my emotions . . . and by Your grace, I grow closer to You. Thank you!
Please guide me and bless me through the words of the Psalmists. Help me openly and honestly share my feelings with You. And by Your grace, I pray that I will realize that You have blessed me with that dynamic, powerful, and life-changing friendship You desire.
I ask all of this in the name of Jesus, who gave His life for me and makes our life-changing friendship that lasts for all eternity possible. Amen.
Whether you and I are in a valley of despair or enjoying a mountaintop moment of bliss, may we go to Jesus and experience the power of His unchanging and everlasting love. May we be filled with faith, hope, love, and a friendship with God that lasts forever!
May God bless you today and throughout the year ahead.
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