Devotion – January 2022

Praise You in the Storm

Psalm 34:1 (NLT)

I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.

It’s the start of a new year, and I don’t know about you, but I am finding myself praying for a better one than the year before. Last year was a difficult one for many. For me and my family it was one of lockdowns, isolation, and sometimes loneliness. There were times throughout the year that I found myself feeling quite low and pretty sorry for myself and my family. I heard my children share many times that it wasn’t fair they had to miss out on birthdays, spending time with friends, or even school! In those times it can feel like the storm is barrelling down all around you. The default position is one of despair, overwhelm or even anger.

My mother-in-law lives on the southern coast of South Australia. I joke that it is ‘Antarctica water country’. The water is cold and wild and when storms appear you batten down the hatches and hold on for dear life. The wind and rain beat down hard, showing immense force and power. The clouds can appear to surround you, continuing without end. The big storms can be scary! Sometimes the troubles of this life can feel like that. Troubles keep coming, they seem to have no respite or end. It can be overwhelming and scary.

In Psalm 34 David reminds us of all that we can praise the Lord at all times. Now, this doesn’t mean God is not interested in our troubles, or that we have to hold it all together and pretend everything is fine. In fact, it means the exact opposite. David was in trouble and needed help, he called out to God, and he answered him. God is God all the time, he never changes. That is something to rejoice about, to speak about with joy! Praising God in the hard times might seem difficult, but if we lift our eyes above our circumstances and turn to our God who always remains, who never changes and is always mighty and victorious, he will protect us in the midst of our storms. He is the safe house, strong and protective that we can shelter in and ride out the storm. We can praise God in the midst of our troubles because he always remains our ever-present help, our loving God who never leaves us. How amazing is that!

Prayer: God, I know that I will go through hard times. When I experience troubles, help me to remember that no matter what, you remain the same and because of this I can praise you in the midst of trouble. Help me to remember that you never leave me nor forsake me. In your name I pray. Amen.

We praise and thank God for Elise and her inspiring devotions she has written for Lutheran Women for the past year, and wish her and her family health, happiness and many blessings for the future. Ed.

About the Author

Elise von Stanke

Hi, my name is Elise, and I am currently living in Newcastle, NSW. I am married to Mathew, who is the pastor at LifeWay Lutheran Church, Newcastle. We have three gorgeous children, Lily (10), Aaron (7), and Noah (3). I am a Primary School teacher, who loves music, making things with fabric, felt and wool and having conversations over coffee. I also love sharing the amazing news of Jesus’ love and hearing others share their experiences with me.

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