En français: Psaumes 112: 4-9
Em português: Salmos 112: 4-9
The DRI staff in Nashville remembers each of you in our prayers. We remember you as we sit together for staff meetings, worship together in the Upper Room chapel, receive and share emails, and read the news of elections or floods or church meetings in your home countries or as you travel. We hope that these prayers will help us live into the psalmist words not to fear, but to trust in the Lord.
Even knowing the wisdom of the Psalms, I entered 2017 naïvely believing a new year might wipe the slate clean and start new, bright and shining. I longed to believe that grief of lost loved ones would dissipate, that our political leaders would value unity rather than division, that a way forward for The United Methodist Church would be made clear. In personal and global matters, I looked to 2017 for hope and new beginnings. And, in many ways, I have been disappointed.
“Yes, these sorts of people will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever! They won’t be frightened at bad news. Their hearts are steady, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are firm; they aren’t afraid.” Psalm 112:6-8 (CEB)
In my sadness and frustration, I turned to the wisdom of the Psalms, to devotions from the Upper Room, treasured books and favorite authors. I seek out those persons of faith and patience and love whom I trust. And I am encouraged to see that their faith is not shaken by world events because they trust in the righteousness and faithfulness of God. They aren’t frightened but remain steady and trust in God’s presence in the midst of trouble. Their hearts do not faint but remain firm in God’s everlasting and inexhaustible love. Some of the saints and authors I turn to are flesh and blood pastors, co-workers and friends. But I also turn to the wisdom and words of sages and prophets from long ago, held in favorite books, well- worn pages – the Psalms, Henri Nouwen, Desmond Tutu, Teresa of Avila, the Gospels and contemporary poets. The words on the page– ancient and modern – help me to lift my eyes, calm my fears, renew my heart. Authors I’ve never met give me hope that wounds will heal, justice will prevail, love is stronger than hate. I don’t need to look to each new year as a balm for my sadness and antidote to my fear. I can simply remember the great Good News that God’s love is new every morning. What are you reading that gives you hope? That sustains you in the face of fear and uncertainty?
What are you writing that offers others the same hope and good news to others in your local churches, communities and beyond? Discipleship Resources International (DRI) strives to assist each of you in making the Good News of Jesus Christ – love and hope – available to all. We pray daily that you are inspired and committed to writing as the psalmist did to give comfort to those you may never meet, in times you cannot imagine, trusting that God has equipped you to speak even now.