Daily Devotions

Sing Loud and Even Dance

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"Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy." (Psalm 47:1)

Music has always been a foundational part of the worship of God. The musical experience in worship has changed over the centuries, but joyfully singing to God has always been an important expression of our faith, hope and love.

I started singing in the church choir while in High School. Amidst the challenges, hormones, and adolescent worries, singing was a constant act of prayer. Church choir was a gift of spiritual fellowship with the other choir members singing with one voice and shouting their mutual support in laughter and joy.

You do not have to join our church choir to shout loud songs of joy to God (sorry John Cook). Music can calm, if stressed. Music can energize, if tired. Music can inspire, if melancholy. Slide in the CD, spin the old turntable, or start streaming. Sing along, even dance (God forbid), and feel God's Spirit wash over you. God wants to share the fun and joy with you. Do it today!

God Is My Refuge

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"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Ps. 46:1)

In the entire Bible, this is one of my favorite passages. I've read this psalm hundreds if not a thousand times to people in the hospital, hopefully giving them strength and courage. It was a key reading that helped me in my own extended hospitalization when I was in college. At that time, when I felt the most helpless, God was my "refuge and strength."

The word "refuge" is one of the most important in the book of Psalms. The New Interpreter's Bible Commentary confirms, "To 'take refuge in' God means to trust God, and not surprisingly, trust is also a key them in the psalms." God is worth taking refuge in and is worthy of our trust. We can take refuge in God, because God is powerful enough to care for us.

Psalm 46 calls us to a decision. Do we take refuge in God, and trust God to carry us through our hardships, or do we find another alternative? But I want to ask, "What other alternative do we have for protection? Our money can only help us a little bit. An Insurance policy can help with medical care, and our family's financial issues after death. We can take refuge in the love of our family, but they will one day feel helpless in our suffering.

Our only help in the day of trouble, is God. No family members can provide a cure. No amount of money can stave off death indefinitely. Our only hope is to trust in our creator, redeemer, and sustainer. We have very little control in our world. Do you want to feel totally alone and without hope, then live this life without God. If you want to be able to receive powerful refuge and strength, then ask God to speak to your heart and strengthen your relationship with God today. God will be there for you today, and always.

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