Josh WannerDevotions

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Psalm 147:11

At first glance, today’s text looks a little scary. Does the Lord want us to be afraid of him? Does it really give him pleasure to fear him? I say absolutely, but you need to define what it means to fear in this instance. The dictionary defines the word fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

The dictionary definition is not very helpful in describing fear in the sense of the text. Rather we need to look to the following definition for guidance: Fear of God refers to fear or a specific sense of respect, awe, and submission. Now this starts to make sense.

In further explanation, the second part of the text talks about those who have hope in his steadfast love. How could you have hope in something you are afraid of? So God takes pleasure when we have respect and awe of him.

We are to submit in love and place our hope in him in all things. In return, he loves us so much that he sent his son to die in our place and to secure eternal life for us with him in his kingdom forever!

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! – Psalm 34:3

Prayer:  Gracious father, we praise you that you loved us so much that you sent Jesus to take our place. You gave us hope and unconditional love. We will fear and place our hope in you. Amen!

Contributed by Tom Johnson

Bible Reading

Read Psalm 35 and record any insights you gain here.

Call to Connection

Make a list of people/places/things that make you truly joyful. Set one goal to spark a little joy in someone else’s day today.