READ: Psalms 30-31
THINK: Have you ever gone through an intensely difficult time that felt like it would never end? Perhaps you're going through such a time right now. Maybe you wondered what you did to deserve the trouble and heartache. Then again, you may be even harder on yourself, believing that somehow you're getting exactly what you deserve. Regardless of why you go through tough times, as a follower of Jesus you can be confident that He will lead you through to the other side, stronger and more resilient than ever. And while earthly trials and troubles are temporary, the joy that Jesus gives to those who rely on Him will endure forever.
RESPOND: What does it mean to "exalt" the Lord (30:1)? What does it mean that God's "anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime" (30:5), and how does that provide comfort? Why is it vital to continue to depend on God, even though you're confident and secure in your relationship with Him? (See 30:6 note.) How can you demonstrate your dependence on God? What does it mean that God can turn "wailing into dancing" (30:11) and that He "removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy"? What does it mean to take refuge in the Lord (31:1-4), and why does this provide ultimate peace and security? What are some of the feelings the psalm writer describes in chapter 31? What words in Psalm 31 were Jesus' final words before His death, and what's the significance of these words? (See 31:5 note.) As a follower of God, what hope and comfort do you have when experiencing sorrow, illness, trouble, rejection and opposition (31:14-16,19-20,24)? Why and how does trusting God bring comfort?
PRAY: Give thanks for God's loving discipline in your life and for the hope that is yours through every difficult situation. Pray that these times will keep you dependent on Him.
ACT: If you're currently experiencing God's discipline or correction-or a difficult time of any kind-look for what you can learn through the experience and how you can honor God in a greater way. Then act on what you discover.
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