Day Twenty-Eight: Praise Challenge

freshcupofmercy

Here’s a new tagline to place over your life:  New morning: New mercy.  

Have you ever meditated on the fact that each new day is born from the darkness of midnight?  That even each new life is born out of the darkness of the womb?  And our Jesus rose to His glory only through the door of the tomb.

This ought to help us see our dark days differently.  There is, truly, something about a fresh, new day that brings an air of encouragement with it.  No matter how bad things were yesterday, today offers a fresh start: new energy, a new perspective, new strength, and the possibility of new hope.  The dawning of each new day, the rising sun, is literally a symbol of hope rising again.  And God designed our world so that each new day would begin this way!

One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Lamentations 3:21-24.  It reads, “But this I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His mercies never fail. They are new every morning.  ‘Great is Your faithfulness!  The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul.  Therefore I have hope in Him.” 

What I love most about the passage is the story that frames it.  Just prior to these hope-full declarations, the writer is lamenting as he remembers the intense suffering he has been enduring.  The book of Lamentations, in fact, is a book about the deep devastation of a people who had abandoned God and experienced the disastrous effects of that choice.  Their lives had crumbled and they were surrounded by enemies and disaster.  The cries of mourning within the pages of this book are overwhelming and can cause us to question the goodness of God in the face of such awful circumstances.

But then, like the hint of a sunrise born from the blackest depths of the night, hope dawns in the suffering soul.  The writer remembers that all is not lost, because God is still with Him.  Though the evidence is not visible, truth has left its mark in his heart, and his faith rises – faith in the fact that God’s mercy is greater than their foolishness, even greater than the consequences they were facing because of their foolishness in choosing things outside of God.  Though they had been unfaithful, God was ever faithful to His Word and to His People.

“Great is Your faithfulness!” is the praise-filled declaration of a man whose soul saw the dawning of hope in the dark night of his own soul.  I love this because, too often, we reserve our praises for the times when good things happen, when God earns the praise.  This passage of Scripture teaches us instead to proclaim God’s goodness when things are at their worst, believing that God is already worthy of the praise.  It encourages us to remember and believe that, no matter how things look as the day is closing in on us, tomorrow will rise with new hope in its wings, because God is still on the throne, and He is still keeping His promises to His people.

May you remember today, with yesterday’s troubles behind you, that today has been delivered to you with a fresh batch of God’s mercies.  Rather than get what we might deserve, God has reserved His best for us – His faithfulness and lovingkindness.  He has plans and purposes for us – and for our troubles – that are full of goodness we can’t even begin to imagine from the seat of our suffering.

So let your heart meditate on the beautiful, powerful truth that you have not been forsaken.  Whatever darkness you are in the midst of, your sunrise is promised.  Whatever difficulties or disasters you might face today, breathe in the mercies given to you and breathe out a praise for the God Who is with you in it all, working it out for your good and His glory.  Indeed, He is faithful!


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