Devotion 48 – Eleventh Day of Christmas

Opening Prayer

The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation (Exo 15:2). Teach me to believe in You.

Text: Isaiah 40:26-31

Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Devotion

This is a glorious text, and it fits splendidly at the beginning of the year. What will we face this year? We know only that we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God (Act 14:22) – “through many tribulations,” but we shall “enter the kingdom of God.” We know that every day will have its troubles, but also “sufficient … is its own trouble” (Mat 6:34), so that we don’t add to it the troubles of yesterday or tomorrow. “Lift up your eyes on high, and see,” says the Spirit of God through the prophet. Up with your looking and up with your eyes! We usually open our eyes when we look down, but close them when we look up. Then we see misery in everything and do not see that there is indeed a glory that shines over everything. “Who created these things?” You know it was He who is your God, your own heavenly Father. Who can count them and name them? Will He lose any of them out of weakness or forgetfulness? Will He forget or forsake you? Will He weary of helping and sustaining you? Or will His understanding stop when it concerns plans and ways for you? O we fools, how could we not believe in the Lord, the almighty eternal, merciful, faithful God? He has called you by name, and you are His. Do you think He could forget you? Because of Jesus you are precious to Him, you faithful Christian people, you poor, miserable, troubled Church. Read this text again, and take it to heart. “Lift up your eyes on high…”

Closing Prayer

Lord, let Your abundant mercy come upon us, Your salvation according to Your Word (Psa 119:41). Amen.

Hymn

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy Health and Salvation!
Join the full throng; Wake, harp and psalter and song;
Sound forth in glad adoration!

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Who, as on wings of an eagle, uplifteth, sustaineth.
Hast thou not seen How thy desires all have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief Ever hath failed of relief? –
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee,
Who from the heavens the streams of His mercy doth send thee.
Ponder anew What the Almighty can do,
Who with His love doth befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen Sound from His people again;
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

Neander: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty L 175 ELH 65 tr. C. Winkworth;
tune: Lobe den Herren

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