Psalm 55 | A Prayer About Betrayal

Psalm 55 | A Prayer About Betrayal

This psalm was supposed to be posted this morning, but before I was done scheduling the post, life happened. I ended up spending all day between clinics and the ER, supporting a loved one in crisis.

Like I said, life happened.

I suspect that those of you who are parents can relate. When someone whose life depends on you needs you, you sometimes have to set aside your plans and help out.

I’m fortunate that other than plants, nothing depends on me for survival. So when it became apparent that my sister who is fighting a hard battle against cancer needed me, I arranged for someone else to try and keep my plants alive while I came to help out on the other side of the world.

I say this now so you know that on other days when you hear nothing from me, it’s because of trips to the ER and such.

As for today’s psalm, the psalmist laments having been betrayed by a close friend. I wish I could say I couldn’t relate. Sadly, I’ve been hurt by loved ones, and I have been guilty of being the offender, the one who had let others down.

And while I’m certain that may be times I’ll let folks down again, my heart is never to hurt loved ones in a way that can be described as betrayal. That is my sincere heart’s cry.

Not that I am stuck lamenting the past. Stuff happened. I have been forgiven and have moved on.

“But Adele,” you might object, “for me, it’s not that easy. I simply cannot forgive myself.” 

I have good news for you:

Not once—not even one time—does that Bible suggest that we must forgive ourselves.

I suspect God knows that self-forgiveness is simply too hard. We go back to mistakes made. We beat ourselves up. And then we question whether or not we truly forgave ourselves.

Self-forgiveness is a notion promoted by popular psychology, not theology.

Instead, the Bible teaches us:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. [1 John 1:9]

So, dear friend, if you’re struggling with forgiving yourself and moving on, I invite you today to receive Jesus’ forgiveness and to step into freedom.

If you think I made up that the Bible doesn’t teach us to forgive ourselves, Google it. You may find that there are pages suggesting verses about self-forgiveness, but read those. Not one actually says we are to forgive ourselves.

I hope that that is good news to you today!

And that you may find solace in the words of today’s psalm.

Psalm 37 | Why do bad things happen to good people?

Psalm 37 | Why do bad things happen to good people?

How simple life would be if good things happened to good people and bad things to bad? But that’s not how life works. You or I could eat well, run marathons and never smoke, and you can still end up with a rare cancer. Just ask my friend Michele.

Truth is, life is hard. Stuff happens. Which is why Jesus taught about the upside-down kingdom, where “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” 

This psalm responds to the life-long question of why the wicked prosper and the good suffer. This situation is only temporary, King David concludes.

Today, may you find strength and shelter in God, no matter what you’re facing.

Psalm 86 | A Prayer for Challenging Times

Psalm 86 | A Prayer for Challenging Times

There are some folks who seem to go through life with no challenges coming their way. Not ever. If you’re one of those, it is unlikely that you’ll relate well with today’s psalm. As a king, David had his share of enemies. He faced challenges aplenty. This psalm is thought to be a prayer that the king often used to pray himself and recommended  others who were facing challenges to pray as well.

The overall message of this psalm is that our great needs should drive us to pray to the great God who alone can deliver us.

No matter what challenges you or your loved ones are facing today, may this reading from The Passion Translation encourage you.

P.S. I’ve heard back from some folks who say they listen to these readings and prayer in the morning, while others have mentioned that they use them as a way to wrap up their day. I’d love to hear how you’re using these so I can adjust the readings accordingly.

Also, if you subscribe, you’ll get these delivered to your inbox every weekday.

Daily Prayer | Psalm 136 NLV

Daily Prayer | Psalm 136 NLV

When facing trials, our tendency is to ask God to take it away, to heal us, and to do so stat. This psalm is a reminder that God’s goodness shows up not only in the beauty of the world around us, through his creation, but that he works even through difficult times in our lives. Hence, in this declaration of God’s goodness, the psalmist recalls God’s faithfulness even in the midst of the deliverance from Egypt and their decades-long journey through the wilderness. 

As you listen to today’s psalm, consider making a list of your own and writing your own version of this psalm. 

Give thanks to the Lord who was with me through a bout with depression. 
His tender love for me continues forever.

Give thanks to the Lord who is strengthening my sister through her cancer journey. 
His tender love for her continues forever.

Give thanks to the Lord who is teaching me what trusting him looks like even in the midst of big life changes,
His tender love continues forever.

How about you? Even as you encounter challenges today, consider using this psalm as a meditative prayer, a declaration of God’s goodness no matter what.

Give thanks to the Lord who ___________. 
His tender love toward me continues forever.

Daily Prayers | Ruth 4

Daily Prayers | Ruth 4

The past four days, we’ve been hanging out in the book of Ruth. Today, we’ll see how God’s hesed, his loving-kindness, not only transforms the life of Naomi, but will have future repercussions, even in your life and mine. If you missed the earlier readings, you can listen to Chapter 1 here. And be sure to also catch Chapter 2 of the story, and Chapter 3, which can be found here.

My invitation to you today is to listen for how God worked to restore Naomi not only through one person, Ruth, but also through Boaz.

Who might be a Naomi in your life? And a Ruth, or a Boaz?

Consider reaching out to those individuals today with a quick note, thanking them for their strategic partnership in God’s work in and through you.

Also, if you found it helpful to do a run-through of an entire book like this, please let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me via Instagram or Facebook.

Thanks for walking this path with me. I’ll be traveling over the next few months, and while I have some of the recordings lined up, you can be certain that we’ll have new background sounds. I look forward to taking you around the world with me!

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