Daily Devotion, July 21, A Song of Ascent for Hope

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Have you ever been on a walk in the mountains? I had the opportunity to work at a camp in the mountains for three summers during my college years. The mornings were crisp, cool and invigorating but in the afternoon after a hard day of working and playing with campers, the ascent up the hill was extremely tiring. Sometimes to make the walk more bearable, we would break out in a song… sometimes a silly camp song or one of more serious vespers songs... but regardless the singing made the ascent easier.  When I read today’s Ascent from Psalm 130, I envisioned the Hebrew Pilgrims as they climbed the steps to the temple, or possibly Mount Zion, and sang this song. There is no mistaking what was on the hearts and minds of those who were ascending in Psalm 130.

There song was one in which they cried out for mercy realizing the magnitude of their sins while expressing deep respect, fear and gratitude for God’s forgiveness. They express patience and hope as they wait for the Lord and acknowledge God’s unfailing love. They are ultimately seeking assurance of full redemption. What does it mean to be fully redeemed? For the Christian today, redeemed means that the price for the condemnation of our sins has been fully paid by Jesus Christ. As long as we live in this life, we may feel guilt and shame, but God desires for us to feel free and no longer enslaved to sin. When we accept and receive the gift of God’s grace, we die to this sin and are raised to a new life in Christ! Praise be to God for his grace and mercy.

This mercy and grace for Jesus was not free; it cost Jesus everything. But for us this gift is free. We need only receive this gift and the Holy Spirit will stir and move us to live a fruitful life of hope, peace, love and joy. So the next time you climb a hill, think of Jesus as he carried the cross up the hill where he died for our sins so that we might be redeemed. Praise be to God, Jesus was raised from the dead, so that both sin and death were conquered through his mighty acts and in this we have great hope. Let us be grateful for God’s mercy and love!

Dear God, thank you so much for the hope you have given us in Christ Jesus. We thank you for your mercy and the hope that you give us as we wait for the day when we experience no more guilt and shame because of the might acts you have already done through Jesus. Help us to be ever mindful and grateful for the redemption you have made possible through him whose name we pray. Amen.

 

 
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