Summer Selah: Downside Up

Ross Lester | July 3, 2021 Christian Living Faith, Rest, Sabbath, Spiritual, Summer Selah Series

Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.

That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.

Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.

Reading

Take some time to read Psalm 41. Then, come back and read the following verses again.

“Blessed is the one who considers the poor!
In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.” (Psalm 41:1-2 ESV)

Reflection

In 1876, Charles Spurgeon said in a sermon,

“I think you may judge of a man’s character by the persons whose affection he seeks. If you find a man seeking only the affection of those who are great, depend upon it he is ambitious and self-seeking; but when you observe that a man seeks the affection of those who can do nothing for him, but for whom he must do everything, you know that he is not seeking himself, but that pure benevolence sways his heart.”

This was later simplified in 1972 by Malcolm Forbes who said, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

The meditation today then will simply be a question that has been plaguing me since I read Psalm 41. In a culture and society that lords and applauds only the strong and successful, what can I do today for the weak? What can I do today for someone who can do nothing for me in return?

This is by no means an add-on to the gospel. When we fully understand that we are the weak who can do nothing in return for God to repay His goodness, grace, and mercy toward us, then it is a logical extension of, and indeed a sign of our own understanding of, the very gospel that we preach—for us to reach out to the weak.

The kingdom of God is downside up. The weak will be strong, those who mourn will rejoice. Reach out today to someone who needs your help and could never repay you for your kindness. The kingdom of God will come near.

Prayer

Father God, thank You that you reached out to me in my weakness. I had no ability to help myself but You saved me. Give me eyes to see those all around me who need help that I could reach out to as a response to that great gospel. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)