February 28, 2014

Blessing and Strength

Psalm 84

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
—Psalm 84:5


When was the last time you felt joy and longing as you set out to worship God? Psalm 84 describes a person whose “soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD” and whose heart and flesh “cry out for the living God.”

These are strong emotions. Do we need to feel that way every time we worship? Though we are not likely to approach worship in the same way every time, our relationship with God, as it grows, does draw us to desire God more and more. If we are not often eager to worship God, how can we focus our energies to enjoy, in a more profound way, meeting with our Lord in worship?

In this psalm, the writer praises the Lord for the beauty of his dwelling place. It’s a place where the psalmist can find rest, praise the Lord, be strengthened, and enjoy the favor and honor of God. It is a blessing to meet together with God and his people.

Though the imagery in this psalm speaks about Israel going up to Jerusalem, it can also apply to Christians today. Worship still ought to have the adventure of a pilgrimage, with the destination being the presence of God himself. When we come together, we are not just a club or a social gathering. We join to meet with the Lord Almighty.

Do you feel that way when you worship God?

Lord, thank you for your love and care. Draw me closer to you, to know you, to worship you with all my heart, by the strength of your Spirit. Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema

Jason Zuidema lives in Repentigny, Quebec, with his wife, Anna, and their three children. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and currently serves as executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association. He is the author of a special Seafarers edition of Today devotions published by ReFrame Media in 2012.

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