July 20 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.” ~Psalm 31:14-15

Over the last few days in the Acts narrative, we’ve watched the great missionary, the apostle Paul, entrust the church he planted in Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey) to the Lord and make his way back to Jerusalem. His work among non-Jewish people has created a stir in the Jewish capital. Paul takes a vow to show that he is not anti-Jewish, but many remain unconvinced. Perhaps he found as much solace and security in the songs of the faithful—the Psalms—as we do today.

Psalm 31

Here is yet another psalm that points people to God for deliverance in times of trouble. “Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge” (v. 2). One of Scripture’s most eloquent lines of poetry is found in verses 14-15: “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say ‘You are my God. My times are in your hands.’” The words are a confession of trust in God as both Sovereign and Savior. David recognizes that the events that make up his life story are in the hands of a sovereign God. Do we acknowledge the same truth? That God reigns supreme over all the things that come into our lives—a move, a job, a friend, an enemy, a trial?! The Sovereign is the One we can trust to save us and give us strength!

Psalm 32

Sometimes the trouble we are in is of our own making. In Psalm 32, David is stressed by guilt and so troubled by his own sin that he feels physically weak. But confession before God is good for the soul! David encourages the godly to confess their sin and enjoy the blessing of forgiveness (v. 6). Yes, even godly people fail and need God’s grace. When they stumble, God not only will forgive them, He also will deliver them from the trouble they have gotten themselves into, even when it seems they might drown in turmoil or distress. “[W]hen the mighty waters rise, they will not reach [those who confess their sin]” (v. 6). Coupled with this encouragement is fair warning. You must be willing to learn from the error of your ways. Those who are as stubborn as mules will only bring more trouble on themselves (v. 9).

Psalm 33

The psalmist declares God’s sovereignty over nature and nation. The poets often point us to creation to celebrate the greatness of God: “the earth is full of his unfailing love” (v. 5). He is Lord over starry skies and untamed seas. But he is also Lord over the rise and fall of nations. The Lord sees everything that happens on the earth (v. 13). Nothing escapes His gaze—no matter how great or small. It is for this reason that the psalmist prompts us to praise God. Praise Him with a full band! Praise Him with skillfully played instruments! Praise Him with new songs! Everywhere we look in this world—from weather to world news—we behold the glory of the Lord!

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.