the soul’s worth
Reflect on the imagery of Matthew 6:26. Follow Jesus’ suggestions. Look at the birds in your yard. Consider how God cares for and values them. How much more does God value you?
Where do you find it difficult to believe that you possess deep value? Over the next week, sing “O Holy Night”—and sing it loudly!
O Holy Night” is a Christmas hymn we need to sing loudly. We need to sing it during Advent and Christmas—and if I had my way, we’d belt it out every month of the year. These lines tell us a deep truth:
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
’Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
When God, in an act of ultimate humility, came to us as a mere child and then suffered as only Jesus could suffer, we learned something about the vast value God places on us. Christmas offers many truths, but surely this is one: You are of great worth to God.
Taking these cues, I bring you a prayer and a blessing: To all who’ve been dismissed or tossed aside; to all who, made bitter by the cracks in your story, now tremble or seethe at the mention of ”love”; to every weary-boned parent saddled with regret or loss or despair; to every child, grown yet still yearning for tenderness and acceptance; to every one of us who compulsively judge our reflection in the mirror or replay conversations over and over or carry every criticism to a dark, dark place; to each of us who are ashamed of our fears and our machinations and who hide the fact that in our own sophisticated ways we still have to leave the light on at night . . .
I pray that you will know, these beautiful days, the profound worth of your soul, the sturdy weight of your being. There is an astounding splendor in you—and I know this because the God of all beauty and power has called you into existence. And God delights in the sheer presence that is you. In these days, I pray you sing this song aloud—and I pray you’ll sing it to one another.
From: Our Daily Journey
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
We talk a lot about hope.
We hope the weather will be good for our family vacation. We hope that our favorite team will win the Super Bowl—or at least make it to the big game! We hope that we get just what we want for Christmas.
But for many of us, hope lacks a sense of certainty. It is more like a wish—something that we want to happen but have no way of knowing that it ultimately will. So we keep our fingers crossed and “hope” that everything will go the way we want it to.
The reality is that often life doesn’t turn out the way we hoped it would. Hope is a fragile commodity. When life is disappointing, our optimism is replaced by feelings of discouragement and hopelessness. Before long we run the risk of becoming cynics who believe that there is nothing in which we can confidently hope.
This was the landscape of life when Jesus entered the world. The prevailing mood of Israel was anything but hope. The once proud nation was now a puppet state of the pagan Roman Empire. The common person lived under the defeating burden of the exaggerated requirements of the religious establishment. Centuries before, they had been promised a deliverer who would restore Israel to its former glory, but it had never happened.
Into this sense of cynical hopelessness, true Hope was born. But the tragedy of that first Christmas was that very few realized the hope that had been introduced. Hope for the forgiveness of sins. Hope for a bright future—forever. Hope for God’s presence and power in daily living. Hope that would enable us to forget the past and set our sights on stuff that doesn’t disappoint. A hope that, because of Jesus, is a certainty and not just another wish to be dashed on the rocks of reality.
I love the honesty of the psalmist who said, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” We’ve all been there. But let’s not stop there. Keep reading! “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5). Rejoice that Jesus came to give you something better than the disappointments of life on planet earth. And when by faith you embrace Him and all that He promised, you can have a hope that is no longer a fingers-crossed wish that you harbor in your heart, but rather a confident, courageous optimism that is rooted in the certainty of His Word.
From: Get More Strength.org
When you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him. If you see Him when He says, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:27), I defy you to worry. It is virtually impossible to doubt when He is there. Every time you are in personal contact with Jesus, His words are real to you. “My peace I give to you . . .” (John 14:27)— a peace which brings an unconstrained confidence and covers you completely, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. “. . . your life is hidden with Christ in God,” and the peace of Jesus Christ that cannot be disturbed has been imparted to you.
From: My Utmost For HIs HIghest