June 17, 2021 • Life for Leaders
Scripture Reading: Psalm 66:20 (NRSV)
Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me.
It’s easy to bless God in response to God’s blessing in our lives. When God answers our prayers, when God does good things for us, when we have tangible evidence of God’s grace, we effortlessly offer praise and thanks to God.
This is harder to do when God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we had hoped. It can seem as if God isn’t even there for us. We wonder: Has God turned away from me? Is God even listening when I pray? In times like these we hold fast to the good news that nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39).
Gracious God, how I thank you for the times you not only hear my prayer, but you answer in ways I had hoped. When I cry out to you for help and you help me in the way I had intended, my heart is filled with gratitude and my mouth with blessing. Thank you, Lord, for those glorious times when grace is so obvious.
But there are other times, Lord, you know that. Sometimes when I cry out to you for help nothing seems to happen. I can wonder if you’re listening. It feels like you’re not. Have you turned your back to me? Have you shut your ears? Have you forgotten to be gracious? Have you in anger shut up your compassion?
O Lord, when it feels as if you have abandoned me, may I hold fast to the truth of the gospel. May I cling to the fact that your love is there for me through Christ. May I know, deep down inside, that nothing in all creation can separate me from your love.
I will never fully understand your ways, gracious God. Yet may I always understand that you love me and are at work in my life for the very best. When I doubt, help me to hang on to you with dear life, knowing that you will never remove your steadfast love from me. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
Even when it feels as if God is not there for you, the fact remains that God is there. Nothing in all creation can separate you from God’s love.
For Further Reflection
You may wish to read all of Psalm 66.
Also, these passages of Scripture might be helpful to you: Psalm 77; Isaiah 55; Romans 8.
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.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Come and See!
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.