May 11, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Psalm 124:1-5 (NRSV)
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side
—let Israel now say—
if it had not been the LORD who was on our side,
when our enemies attacked us,
then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us;
then the flood would have swept us away;
the torrent would have gone over us;
then over us would have gone
the raging waters.
When you face workplace challenges, when you feel threatened, overwhelmed, and afraid, God is there. God is on your side.
Psalm 124 celebrates the fact that God is on our side. The Hebrew could also be translated: God “is for us” (CEB, for example). This celebration begins with a hypothetical question: What if the Lord was not on our side? What if the Lord didn’t care about us? Even worse, what if the Lord was against us? The result would have been terrible. We’d have been swallowed alive (124:3) or swept away by the flood (124:4).
But because the Lord is on our side, we have escaped from terrible things. God has delivered us and protected us. Why? Because God is “for us.” God is “on our side.” The God who made heaven and earth is our helper (124:8).
When, in the context of our work, we feel overwhelmed, attacked, or afraid, Psalm 124 reminds us that God is on our side. God wants the best for us. God is present with us always. Yes, sometimes we will endure difficult things. But even then, God is there to comfort, heal, and encourage.
Gracious God, in my work I’ve never faced literal enemies who want to kill me, though I know people for whom this is true. And I’m not a first responder who might encounter an actual flood as I do my work. The “enemies” I face are of a different sort. Sometimes they take human form. Sometimes they appear as overwork, stress, and worry. Or they are challenges that overwhelm and frighten me.
No matter the nature of the opposition I face in my work, how thankful I am that you are on my side. Thank you, Lord, for being with me. Thank you for being for me. Thank you for wanting what’s best for me. Thank you for helping me in so many ways. Thank you for delivering me from hopelessness. Thank you for reassuring me when I’m filled with fear. Thank you for bringing others into my life who can share my burden and encourage me.
O God, you are indeed my helper. Without you, I’d be lost. With you, I am found. I am loved. I am protected and empowered. Thank you! Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
God is on your side.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 124. You may also wish to read Psalm 46.
Banner image by Tony Eight Media on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: If Not for You, God.
Subscribe to Life for Leaders
Sign up to receive a Life for Leaders devotional each day in your inbox. It’s free to subscribe and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.