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What stands out to me in Psalm 30 is that it is all in the past tense. The psalmist is looking back at his past and remembering what God has done. I need to do this so much more than I do. We are a “What have you done for me lately?” culture. If your team wins the Super Bowl, but has a losing season the next year, the coach will get fired. We are fickle with our sports teams. We microwave our food. We make instant coffee. We have on demand television and movies. And we demand the newest and the best in everything we buy. When the butterflies leave a marriage, we decide it’s time to move on. It’s no surprise that we do the same thing with God when things turn south.
I’m not judging you, or “culture”, here. I’m putting myself squarely in this boat. I’m observing that this is the way of modern humanity. This the stream we are all floating in, and the rapids have a power all of their own. It takes an incredible amount of intentionality to swim upstream in this.
I’m reminded of this whenever I take communion (also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist). Jesus said to his disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) He told us this because he knows how forgetful we are. You only have to look to the pages of the Old Testament to find time after time that Israel forgot God’s faithfulness, going back to worshiping foreign gods because He hadn’t done anything lately for them (or so they thought). This is hard wired into us. One of the key disciplines of walking with God is regularly reminding ourselves of his past faithfulness, both in Scripture and in our lives. This is what we see the psalmist doing here.
There are some dark times mentioned in Psalm 30…out of the depths…my enemies gloat…the realm of the dead…going down to the pit…weeping…wailing…sackcloth…
The psalmist is remembering these dark times and saying: God you brought me through all of this. You were with me then and you are with me now. He’s not promising that there won’t be more dark days ahead, but he is remembering that God is faithful through it all. And he’s taking time to worship him accordingly.
What does God’s faithfulness mean? It has to be bigger than our temporal circumstances. Because to say, “God is faithful” when someone is healed of cancer has to still be true when so many still die of cancer every day, doesn’t it? If God is faithful, then he is faithful. We can look to specific experiences to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness, like in a cancer healing. But this reminder is to draw us near to God relationally, to know that he’s still faithful, even when the dark days come. Even when the cancer isn’t healed or when the baby dies. When Jesus says, “Do this is remembrance of me,” he is giving us the regular meal of the Eucharist to remind ourselves, in fellowship with our spiritual family, that God is so faithful that he conquered sin and death for us. That no matter how bad things get, we can remember Jesus’ body broken for us and his blood shed for us. We can remember the new covenant that his blood purchased for us. In this new covenant, we are forgiven, saved, redeemed, and reconciled. In this new covenant, Jesus is faithful to walk with us through all of this life’s ups and downs as the example of the one who suffered, as well as the one who conquered and prevailed.
As you read through Psalm 30 today, worship God for his faithfulness. Thank him for his many examples of faithfulness throughout the Bible, most importantly for his faithfulness on the cross and in the now empty tomb, and thank him for all the ways you’ve seen his handiwork in your life.
Invitation to reflection:
Prayer for the day: Lord help me to remember you. Help me to remember your love and all the times I have experienced your love. Thank you for all the times I have experienced your love. I think about them now, holding each of them in my memory, thanking you and worshiping you. Thank you for your ultimate victory over sin and death. Thank you for being my suffering Savior who has suffered more than I could ever know. Thank you that I can look to you in my suffering and know you are walking with me. Help me to not forget you when life gets hard. I remember you God. I love you.
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- Psalm 33 Devotional – He Puts the Sea into Jars! - May 2, 2021
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- Psalm 32 Devotional – Walking in the Freedom of the Light - April 18, 2021