January 26th Devotion

Proclaiming Victory
By Meg Bucher

“The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.” - Psalm 145:14 NLT

Who God is in comparison to what we are going through helps us navigate the winding roads of life. I remember being lost in the woods once as a high school student. Growing up in the Cuyahoga River Valley, our cross country team ran up and down and wound around the National Park we were grateful to call home. The beauty of the trails in the fall smelled of the earth-changing seasons in the Midwest. The same trail is different in every season.

The day I lost my sense of direction in the woods, a teammate and I started exploring off the trail. Soon, every leaf-covered hill looked the same. We made it back just fine that day, but it wasn’t the last time I would find myself lost. In college, a teammate and I wandered down the wrong country road. Laughing with the field of sheep we stumbled on, we soon found ourselves far from the rest of our team and the campus. I remember the look on my coach’s face when we finally got back. The rest of the team had stretched and left, and we walked up laughing to coach shaking his head with a smile.

Being lost can cause us to panic, but I don’t remember feeling panicked either time I was lost …neither in the woods nor on the country roads outside of my college town. God is faithful to protect me before I even ask Him to. In so many situations in life, when we find ourselves lost, we can know God has gone before us and He is with us. We embrace a sense of calm, knowing God is our victory in every battle and compass when we find ourselves lost.

“David may have had his army sing a hymn such as this after a battle, in gratitude for victory,” Halley’s Bible Handbook explains. David was familiar with both the battlefield and of being lost. In every situation, David learned the consistency of God, despite his lack. We, too, can rely on God as our rock-solid foundation, directional compass, and the reason we proclaim victory in the battles of our lives.

Intersecting Faith and Life:
“Let each generation tell its children of your might acts; let them proclaim your power.” - Psalm 145:4 NLT

Psalm 145 is a collection of praise to God for victory. Each day, we face odds and ends in our lives, which rub up against our comfort zones and sometimes sense of direction. When we find ourselves lost or in a battle, we can turn to Psalm 145 as a reminder of the victory which has already been won on our behalf. We can proclaim victory in Christ Jesus every day. He has already defeated death, so in Him, we can victoriously proclaim life! “For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The LORD always keeps his promises;” David wrote, “He is gracious in all He does.” (Psalm 145:13 NLT)

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Christ Jesus is always with us. The Holy Spirit lives in us! We who believe in Jesus can proclaim victory over every battle and look confidently to Him for direction when we are lost. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways, Scripture assures. But, we have His Holy Spirit as our Helper to interpret His Word. We faithfully follow His lead as we navigate through the proverbial woods and winding country roads in our lives. When we are distracted, the Spirit gently nudges us back onto the path toward God’s will for our lives.

We each have an important purpose in this life. When the fog sets in, and we cannot see where we are going, Psalm 145 reminds us:

“The LORD helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.

When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.

The LORD is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.”
- Psalm 145:14-18 NLT
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