Remembering the character of God and the wonderful things he has done moves us to praise and thank our great God for who he is and what he has done. This series of devotions have been written by Sarah Condie to encourage you to ponder the loving deeds of the Lord, so that songs of joy and thankfulness bubble forth from within you. Some devotions will focus on small but significant habits, while others will focus on the character of God.
At the end of each devotion and prayer, Sarah has provided a link to a song. Everyone’s taste in music is unique, so please, if you don’t like her choices, choose songs that you love.
5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
What do you remember about yesterday? Or last week? Does your mind gravitate to the difficult and hard things you faced? What about the glorious things? Do you recall these as well?
Think back to the Israelites in the desert after their rescue from Egypt. They grumbled and complained because they no longer had cucumbers and garlic to eat (Num 11:5). Their songs of praise for the glorious story of rescue and deliverance were a distant memory.
We remember difficult experiences with clarity and detail. With anything negative, our brains tend to be like Velcro — the memories stick, and we find it hard to get them out of our minds. But with positive experiences, our brains tend to be like Teflon — they slide off and we forget them. It’s so easy to be like the Israelites with this inbuilt bias towards the negative!
A helpful antidote to this bias is to notice the good things in our lives and be thankful for them. It’s a means of training our minds to scan for the positive. One small habit that can help here is to keep a thankfulness journal. Have a small notebook by your bed, and each night write down ‘three things’ you are thankful to the Lord for. It might be something as tiny as enjoying a moment in the sunshine or a beautiful flower in the garden.
Over time, you will find that when you think about yesterday or last week, your brain will more easily gravitate to God’s good gifts. Despite the difficult experiences, you may find yourself saying:
‘Surely God is my salvation.
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord Himself,
is my strength and my song.
He has become my salvation.’
Isaiah 12:2 ESV
In Jesus, we have salvation. Like the Israelites, we have been rescued from death to new life. This rescue is so glorious, so wondrous, so marvellous and we can sing a song of joy.
I humbly thank you for all your gifts so freely given to me,
For life and health and safety,
For power to work, leisure to rest,
And for all that is beautiful in creation and human life.
But, above all, I praise you
For our Saviour, Jesus Christ,
For his death and resurrection,
For the gift of your Spirit,
And for the hope of sharing in your glory.
Fill my heart with all joy and peace in believing.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source: An Australian Prayer Book
Song: O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer – Sovereign Grace Music
This series of devotions was written for and first published by The Bible Society Australia.