Devotional: August 13, 2020
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86: 5-7, 15 NIV
Psalm 86 inspires me, for it is both personal and universal. It is personal because it is written in the first person singular. This is “my” prayer, and “I” will call on you. The Psalm reminds us that we can confess to the Lord our very personal and individual concerns, unique to who we are as human beings. Your family. Your health. Your life situation.
At the same time, the Psalmist affirms that God is Lord of all, or universal. In verse 5, the Psalmist boldly proclaims to the Lord that He abounds in love to “ALL who call to you.” Thus, the Psalm writer affirms the belief that Jesus loves all of us: every single person who calls upon the name of the Lord.
So… Our God is at one and the same time the God of the universe, and MY God! This is part of what makes our Lord so amazing, and unbelievable: he cares for everyone: people now numbering in the billions on this planet, while caring for each and every one of us as unique individuals. Lord of all, but also God of every one of our concerns, no matter how small!
One of the most important attributes of the Lord highlighted by the Psalmist is that the Lord is “slow to anger”. What a contrast this statement is with our culture’s belief that God is usually or always angry with us. I believe this is part of the reason many people reject God: they picture Him as angry all the time.
God’s primary emotion towards us is love, which is most often manifested as graciousness and compassion. Yes, there are times that God expresses anger, but those are so few compared to His generous love towards us.
So today, wrap yourself in God’s tender care, and rejoice in the love, mercy, grace, and compassion of the Lord, just like this Psalmist!
Loving and compassionate Lord,
Today and every day we are blessed by Your endless spirit of forgiveness and love towards us. May we mirror that love towards all with whom we interact. Teach us how to follow Your ways, and help us to shower them with the same unconditional love that You offer to us.
With gratitude in our hearts, we pray this Your most precious name. Amen