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Songs of Ascent: Day



Today's Text: Psalm 121; Romans 4:18; Romans 8:24-25

Yesterday we were reminded of a vital word, a gift straight from God’s hand: Hope. In today’s reading, the psalmist affirms not only our desperate need for this hope but its never ending, never failing source.

“Where will my help come from? Who will help me now?”

We’ve all felt it – the uncertainty, pain or fear that leaves us on the brink of despair. Perhaps you are feeling it today as you rise to meet what greets you. We close our eyes and drink in the truth like water: He is our hope.

Whether today brings joy or sorrow, triumph or tragedy, bright and shiny blessings or the quiet, hidden kind, our hope is the same.

Hear that, Sisters. Our circumstances do not change our Hope.

I picture us, thousands of women reading these very scriptures on this very day together. Our lives and surroundings, our days and our hearts–we are all different. We have a myriad of fears and joys and challenges among us, but we have a singular hope.

Ours is the hope that has proved faithful since the time of Abraham, since Hope Himself promised Abraham the impossible and delivered on that promise.

The same God who was the hope of Abraham is our hope.
The same God who watched over Israel watches over you and me.

He is our collective hope and help as the Church, one body of believers stretching worldwide, our Bibles and journals and coffee spread out before us in the morning light. He is our personal, intimate hope as individuals, our keeper and the One who watches over our going out and our coming in. He is by our side, always close at hand. He is the good shepherd, truly, and He cares for every. single. sheep.

“Even the smallest?” you ask. “Even the clumsy and awkward ones? The impatient and ill-equipped, the frustrated and frightened?” Especially those.

This life is unsure.

Our circumstances are unsure.

Our God, He is sure. And He is our hope.

  • Wow! This is so on time! Praise God

  • I like to think or believe that I’m an optimistic person, always wanting to believe and hope for the best even when the best isn’t right in front of you. But there are days when that hope becomes more of a challenge or struggle than joy. Thank you for showing that there is always hope especially in the struggles and you can’t see them…

  • Stephanie Carter

    Hallelujah, this came right on time. I needed that still soft voice whispering, “Just put your hope & trust in me. I will never let you fall.”

    We believe, but sometimes we all become overwhelmed with life and its difficulties. We become weary and unable to think clearly. We forget the old song, “Take your burdens to the Lord, AND LEAVE THEM THERE.”

    Be blessed my sisters,

    Psalm 121, Brooklyn Tab style–so encouraging.

  • megpadill

    Thank God!

  • I am continuing to be blessed that is awesome devotion. I am continuing to be amazed and in awe of the Lord.I am learning him and discovering me. I have misplaced my hope either in myself or is to the word shows yourself and where is you need to fix it. I’m saved by hope Romans 8:24 – 25. now I know better and so I will do better. Thank you Lord for the accountability and the new change in me in the name of Jesus.

  • Victoria

    I'm a day late to this party. :-)

    "Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping." I love this part. I'm going through not just a season of singleness but a complete lack of single Christian men season in my life. And I was really struggling with this a few weeks ago. Having been raised in a very modernly feminist era (even/especially within the church) I have spent the past year+ telling people that I am happy single and really wouldn't be interested even if God dropped a single King David in my lap. To be honest, it was true but underlying it was a hope that God would bring me someone special to love and to grow in faith with. But my hope scared me because there were 3 options. 1) God didn't meet that hope and I was left bitterly disappointed. 2) I prayed that God would bring my desires in sync with His and that from that I would be given peace about my singleness. 3) God met my hope. Since option 3 didn't seem like a current option, I buried the desire so that 1 and 2 couldn't come to fruition. What on the outside looked like trust was at its heart the complete opposite! So a friend challenged me to really give my hope to God and trust in Him as my hope. The freedom that came from doing that shouldn't have surprised me but it did. Our hopes and dreams are not wrong but they must always come back to God as our sole hope in EVERYTHING!

  • praying for all of you in need. Bless you. #encouragingword

  • Amen! Wow! Sometimes you get given to you the exact answer to your prayers. It still amazes and delights me when Jesus answers your prayers. I say thank you Jesus

  • I am so glad that my help comes from The Lord. I am thankful that He is there to protect me and keep me safe from all hurt, harm, and danger. Who better to watchover me than the One who created all.

  • jesusgirl71

    Hey ladies! I thought I hadn’t seen Rockinita55 for a while! How are you girl? Andi, praying. Heather, what you said really resonated with me, about the God of Israel. And God putting all His rage on His son! Wow! Ellen MR, praying. You know, it’s so encouraging to see all of you saying your hope is in the Lord. I mean, I read a lot of Christianiction, but reading your words, I am reading from real, living, breathing people who are out there with struggles and circumstances just like I have. Not just fictional characters who make it, but real people who makeit make it every day. Wonder if I am making any sense. Oh, and Sue, I feel your panic with the retreat. That kind of thing makes me nervous too, but for me it’s because as a blind person in an unfamiliar area I need more help from people than I’d like to need sometimes.

  • Andi – I do pray that your mother, her colleagues and the children they serve came through today safely. I agree that today's passages were so soothing. The passage that especially spoke to me today was Romans 8:24-25 "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Sometimes we are just so fixed on what we think we need and we pray for that … we get disheartened because we think nothing is changing. This has been my challenge at times – God's time is not my time and just because I don't get what I want does not mean He is not hearing me. He may have a better solution – something I may not even comprehend .

  • Our Circumstances do not change our hope.
    Romans 24-25 really just sums it all up. Hope saved us and hope is what helps us con't on.
    God is our HOPE!
    Thank you ladies for another wonder devotion today.

  • I wanted to share a few songs that this today's reading reminded me of…

    "Praise You in This Storm" – Casting Crowns (Psalm 121 words at 3:00min)
    "I Will Lift My Eyes" – Bebo Norman
    "I Lift My Eyes Up" – Kutless

    Happy Friday, lovelies.

  • Lauren C

    I'm reading NLT version & Romans 4:18 begins as "Even when there was no reason for hope…" REASON. It struck me that the concept of reason is man-made, or even part of Satan's schemes? God doesn't need reasons. It was beyond reason that Abraham and Sarah would conceive, but God made it happen. It was beyond reason for Jesus to transcend death, but God made it happen. I've always been that person who sought reasons for everything – the perpetual 3-yr-old asking "Why?" LOL. I've always been compelled to DO something, figure it all out. In the past few years, I can feel the tide changing. I can feel God telling me – "Really, I've got this. Let me have it. I have it all figured out, I promise." Continuing to hope in the absence of earthly reasons for hope – that's where I want to be. Madeline just posted "Today I CHOOSE to hope." It really is that simple, isn't it?

    Happy Friday everyone!

  • Like LindaG, I was also struck by. The Message version of Romans 8:22-25. In our expectant waiting for The Lord's timing, we are like a pregnant mother growing (literally) in her hope for her baby to be born. Beautiful and powerful image! :)

  • Ellen MR

    All I can say is the writing of these devo’s is just beautiful- BRAVO SRT!! It is so poignant, touches me deeply. Thank you…
    All my sisters, I find such beauty and hope in your dreams, fears- your raw honesty. It gives me great hope that all of us call on our Lord, and your stories PROVE He answers!! I am NOT alone, He is present. I will lift up my eyes and He will be there, to help, to hear, and watch over me now and forevermore. How can I not have Hope?! HE IS OUR HOPE, He is everything.
    As all of you go about your day, could I humbly ask for prayers concerning my sister? She is having major surgery this afternoon, 2:30 pm in California. I just spoke to her and she’s very frightened… I know with your prayers she will feel immense peace, as I have when you, my sisters, have prayed for me. Thank you so very much!
    I’m so grateful to be a part of such a powerful group of women gathered together, united in Christ! Blessings and Hope to all today! :)
    (Good to “see” you back, Rocknitat55!) ;)

  • definehungry

    So true and so encouraging that even in what we might view as the worst of circumstances there will always be hope.

  • Jill in FL

    I am so thankful for the hope I have in Christ!

  • Ladies, thank you for the songs of worship. They always touch my heart.

    Today is a day for me to be still in the Lord, to feel and claim his message of hope. Tonight is a Womens Retreat with my church, and I am anxiously open to where God will lead me. Honestly ladies, I am a bit nervous because this is way out of my comfort zone (I know so few people, being new to this). But, I truly felt God leading me here, & so I will claim verse 7 “he will watch ovet your life”. His hope is so abundant and so alive, that I know blessings will flow!

    Andi, I have raised yr mother and the protection of the school up to God. May God send his angels to protect them. Amen.

  • Sarah Wood

    As I read Psalm 121 this morning, it felt as though God was wrapping his arms around my weary heart and saying "Remember Sarah, I've got you. You are my daughter and I've given you all things through my Son. Put your trust back into me and my plans for you." Nothing compares to the Hope we have in Christ. What a good truth to walk into the weekend with. I'm so thankful for this community of ladies!

  • Madeline

    I choose to hope today even when the circumstances around me seem grim. I love reading all of your thoughts, encouragement, struggles, and prayers. I love the honesty!

  • ~ Grace and Peace

    My help comes from looking up not around. When I look around I get disappointed and hurt because people ultimately fail me. My expectations should be directed to the Creator of heaven and earth! What is too hard for Him?

    The KJV uses “keep” “keeper” and “preserve” (NLT uses protect, protector) and they all come from the same Hebrew word “shamar”

    to keep, guard, observe, give heed
    A. (Qal)
    i. to keep, have charge of
    ii. to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life
    a. watch, watchman (participle)
    iii. to watch for, wait for
    iv. to watch, observe
    v. to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory)
    vi. to keep (within bounds), restrain
    vii. to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow)
    viii. to keep, preserve, protect
    ix. to keep, reserve
    B. (Niphal)

    . to be on one's guard, take heed, take care, beware
    i. to keep oneself, refrain, abstain
    ii. to be kept, be guarded
    C. (Piel) to keep, pay heed
    D. (Hithpael) to keep oneself from

    The picture it paints for me is that God has His eye on us at all times. Nothing can touch us or our loved ones without Him knowing about it. He is aware of what happens around us. He is guarding us, taking care of us, oh and that number 7 – treasuring us. We am precious to Him. He loves us. That just brings tears to my eyes.

    Thank you, ladies, for the devo content. It was such an encouragement to read that even when we are many, we have one common hope.

    • Lauren

      Your words really hit me as I read them: "My help comes from looking up not around. When I look around I get disappointed and hurt because people ultimately fail me." I consider myself to be a poor decision maker, I am afraid of what I may miss if I choose something different. because of this, I find myself asking people "around" me their opinions on what I should do… rather than looking UP and seeking direction and guidance from God.

      I've read this Psalm many times in my life, and in 3 different translations this morning. But not until I read your words did it sink in to something specific in my actions. Thank you!

      I love reading so many different reflections and thoughts on these passages. SRT has truly been a blessing in my life.

      God bless.

      • ~ Grace and Peace

        Thank you for your kind words, Lauren.

        I'm walking the same path like you. I'm learning that the more we read His Word, the more He speaks to us. It proves He is real and He can help us.

        Blessings to you, too, sister.

  • charlottedean29

    I love Psalm 121 — He is constantly watching out for us. He knows what is best for us. We can also tie it to Romans 8:28, he works things out for good for those who love him (paraphrased). Such amazing truth this morning! However, Romans 8:24-25 is confusing me, I would love some feedback and insight on what you all have to say about Romans 8:24-25.

    • Victoria

      Romans 8:23 gives you context for the hope in 24….
      "And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us."

      I think it is a great reminder that our hope is twofold…we have hope here on earth but we also have a hope for what comes after this earth. "For the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us." I don't know about you but this promise gets me even more excited for heaven! But I'm going to wait patiently and confidently for it! (Though the exclamation points kind of belie that. :-) )

  • I take comfort in this scripture this morning. Even though right now everything seems to be out of control—with my husband no longer wanting to honor our covenant but then wishing things had worked; to not knowing how I’m going to get to my new job to being pregnant with our first child and having no one but God. Even through all of this, there is still HOPE & I will trust God & not man bc He is the author & finisher of our lives. God is working & therefore I choose to Hope.

  • As I read Psalms 121, I get such a sense that the psalmist is weary, so tired and is hanging his head down to the ground because everything seems too much to deal with, and then he decides that he will give it one last shot and raises up his head and lifts up his eyes to the mountains…..and then realizes that his God, our God, the one who NEVER sleeps or slumbers is watching over and protecting him. God never sleeps or slumbers. He watches over us continually. It's an awesome reminder.

  • I didn’t get the chance to start my day with this because I woke up late and – okay, no more excuses. This Friday afternoon as I sit and read devo for today I choose to HOPE. He knows my fears and my needs. He knows them all. So I will trust Him and put my hope in His Word. I long for Him more than watchmen for the morning.

    I’m thankful for the oh so familiar names I’m getting to see in the comment section this afternoon. Love all you women. Have a blessed day

    • hooleywithaz

      i'm thankful that the names are becoming familiar to me too! it's so nice to be able to share what's on our hearts, and sometimes just come to read other women's reflections.

  • Sometimes, it is really hard to see the God of Israel, the God who spoke the Abraham, who was so undeniably PRESENT to the Israelites, as the same God who watches over me. Because He so often feels so far away. Especially recently, with concerns about my son, wondering and waiting to find out if he has a form of autism, remembering how I prayed that he wouldn't as a baby because the concerns were there already, and at 3 being so tired of not knowing and having to jump through hoops to find some help. And I wonder where were you? But this reminds me that He was and is here all along. He feels my pain, even more so than I do. I am reminded that He gave his own son up, for me. He poured out his anger and frustration and hurt and rage onto HIS OWN SON, and felt that agony, all for me. He is with me. He will guide me. There is HOPE.

    • LaurenC_

      Praying for you, Heather. God, please comfort her heart & quiet her fears. Give her an enlarged feeling of hope & trust in You.

  • So thankful for this community of women. As I deal with my fathers end stage lung cancer it is good to know that my HOPE is in Christ.

    • Lauren C

      Praying for you Valerie.

    • Rhonda

      Praying for your father and all who love him. Stay strong in the Lord remembering the call to our eternal home is our ultimate beginning. God bless you and yours.

  • All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. (Romans 8:22-25 MSG)

    Love this: we are enlarged in the waiting…

  • I really needed these readings today. My mom is a teacher at an elementary school in SC. She notified me this morning that the school is on lockdown because someone made a very clear claim that a gunman has entered or is entering the school to strike out against the children, teachers, and administrators. I sent my mother the psalm from today as I am praying for safety for everyone. Sisters, if any of you have a moment, please pray for everyone at this school.

  • Such a great reminder. Love starting my day with these truths, and you all!

  • "The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand"

    I'm not sure I've ever TRULY read this verse until today. I had melanoma several years ago and I'm super sensitive to the sun. When I can feel my skin get to warm I literally run to the shade…and instantly I have comfort and protection. Why do I forget the Jesus is my shade when the heat of life beats down? I want to run to Him first, I want to seek shelter and protection from Him FIRST. He is there, waiting, always faithful. He can comfort like no other.
    I put my hope in you alone Jesus. I run to your beautiful shade…the most beautiful ever. :)

  • I am sooooo riding on HOPE this morning! Buckled up. Helmet on. White knuckles clutching to hold on to it. I'm so thankful today that "He who watches over you does not slumber." I'm having another "bad brain day" and feel like one of those "clumsy and awkward ones" mentioned in today's devotional.

    Ahhhh…but our God is so faithful. And He has redeemed it all. All of my weakness, my failings, my sickness, my pain. All for the sake of His glorious and great Name! And that is pretty awesome!

    Blessings Ladies! Missed a post yesterday, but I was reading the Songs of Ascent portion with you!

  • jesusgirl71

    Hi ladies! Such encouragement today!
    The same God who was the hope of Abraham is our hope.
    The same God who watched over Israel watches over you and me.

    He is our collective hope and help as the Church, one body of believers stretching worldwide, our Bibles and journals and coffee spread out before us in the morning light. He is our personal, intimate hope as individuals, our keeper and the One who watches over our going out and our coming in. He is by our side, always close at hand. He is the good shepherd, truly, and He cares .
    This really encouraged me today! Sometimes, I see promises for Israel and doubt if they are for me. This reminder helped me know that yes, this is for me! my reading from “Morning and Evening” by Charles Spurgeon challenged me today to a higher faith, a great faith! We can’t accomplish what God wants us to with a small faith. Seemed to fit so well.
    Autumn Dawn, that was a great song! Flo, thanks for sharing that song. I never heard it before. Sue, I love that song! So many of your comments spoke to me today that I can’t respond to all, but know you are a blessing. Doing this from my phone because sometimes, it is easier.

  • Carolynmimi

    "Our circumstances do not change our Hope". So hard to accept at times, but it calls me as the scripture reading today does to shift from the secular definition of hope to the real hope God offers: He will not leave me. He will help me, even when I fail to see the need for his help. He will level the path, remove the mountains, bring me home. No matter what the evidence says or the mess I have gotten myself into declares, He Is and my Hope is that the God who opened Sarah's barren womb, parted the seas, and raised Christ from the dead can protect and deliver those of us who believe, today, tomorrow and forever.

  • chikchik92

    Psalm 121 is one of my favorite passages. When I’m going through difficulties it’s so nice to look out my window at the mountains and be reminded of this scripture. God is our help and our hope. I can count on Him even when I feel like I’m lost at sea

  • I was just saying to my husband last night (okay, whining), "it's so hard to be patient!" But it's more than expectant waiting that is pressing on my heart. It's Him. Him saying, "Put your hope in me. Put your trust in me. Your faith is more than a badge, my daughter–it's saying 'Lord, my life is in your hands, my help comes from you, and you do the impossible. And when I truly trust you and your plan, waiting seems like no time at all.'" Working on changing my tune, and my whines into praise, today!

    • Katie

      Love your thoughts, Sarah — especially the idea of Him pressing into our hearts little reminders to keep trusting and putting our hope in HIM. :)

  • faith. trust. HOPE..

  • LOVED the Romans passages today :) Waiting is so hard when we want instant results- I want to change my attitude/ outlook/ anger/ frustrations/ fears/ worries but nothing goes away instantly. However, through Christ, I am given HOPE that by waiting patiently, and confidently believing the Lord's promises, He will set me free and create a new (awesome) work in me- beyond anything that I could have imagined for myself!!

  • You are awesome in this place mighty God, you are awesome in this place abba Father, you are worthy of all praise to you our lives we raise, you are awesome in this place mighty God.

  • Bridgette

    “But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.” Romans 8:25

    I don’t know about you ladies but I struggle with waiting, especially when it is something I want bad or am excited about. But my Father tells me to wait patiently so I choose to trust Him and His timing.

    We are told “seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33

    His timing is perfect and He is my hope!

  • hooleywithaz

    romans 4:18 was such a good reminder of what awesome things can come to us if we continue to hope through all circumstances that God will deliver on His promise to us. faith in God is what allows us to feel hope.

    and my goodness. like i said on day 1, psalm 121 continues to speak to me, each line has been feeding my soul. it's telling us that we can have hope because the God who made HEAVEN and EARTH (ocean, sky, mountains, us!) is going to help US! He is always there, though it all, even when we cannot be strong. how can we not have hope if He is who is protecting and watching over us? so even and especially in hard circumstances, out faith in the Creator, Protector, Redeemer gives us the ability to hope for what is to come that He has promised to us. salvation and eternity with Him!

    blessings and have a wonderful friday ladies!

  • rocknitat55

    PSA 121:1-3 KJV

    I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord , which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

    What a beautiful reminder. This is one of my favorite psalms. Hope never fails!
    Thank God that he will not suffer my foot to be moved as I stand to see the salvation of the Lord.
    SRT I love ya, the thought of women all different yet all the same as we bow and worship the king.
    Regardless of our differences we can be bound together in HOPE?

    Lord I thank u for ministering to me at this time, thank u for lessons learned; that my focus should be on you and not man. God bless you sisters!

    • AmyKelly213

      Yay! Hey, Rocknitat55!! I have been looking for you and missing you!! Hoping you are doing well! How goes the new job?

  • Great reminders & encouragement this morning! Blessings to all today!

  • I love Romans 4:18: "Against all HOPE, Abraham in HOPE believed." What hopes from The Lord do you carry around in your heart, quietly, maybe even afraid to speak them out loud, because they seem like prayers and hopes that will never be answered? What promises from The Lord do you have a hard time believing in your life? I love the reminder in Romans 4:18 that against all hope, we can believe. No matter our circumstances. No matter our fears/anxieties/doubts/insecurities. The hope we have in Him is real and true and strong, and we can count on it. If it's a promise He's given us in His word, we can be sure He will fulfill it. If it's a prayer we've prayed, we can be sure He will answer it, and we can be sure He will answer it with what is best for us (even if we don't realize it at the time). What a beautiful reminder to trust Him freely with all of our hopes, dreams — everything, because He is faithful, and in hope, we can believe.

  • I too am loving SRT! And had a song come to mind when thinking about our HOPE…it's One thing Remains by Kristian Stanfill

  • I love this song about Hope. Seems to fit todays theme.

  • Madeleine

    Awesome message! This helped me remember that when created things or people fall short, our Lord is our hope. My challenge is to trust, like Haylee said, the One who loves freely, faithfully, and forever.

  • I love the reminder that our is the Hope of the One who was faithful to Abraham. Hope Himself promised Abraham the impossible and delivered on that promise! I needed this reminder!

  • AmyKelly213

    I love SRT!! Thank you for this beautiful start to my day!! Just what I needed!

  • songmistress

    "Whether today brings joy or sorrow, triumph or tragedy, bright and shiny blessings or the quiet, hidden kind, our hope is the same.

    Hear that, Sisters. Our circumstances do not change our Hope."

    What encouragement and comfort to start the day with. :)

    Psalm 121 has long been one of my favourite Psalms. It starts with LIFTING UP the eyes. In depression, the eyes are cast down…everything is cast DOWN. Here I find encouragement to look UP. Where does my help come from? From the Lord Almighty…not just ANYONE, but THE ONE – THE Creator of heaven and earth. HE is my protector and provider. If anything can bring encouragement despite the circumstances – despite all that seeks to drag me down – it is these rich promises. I found it very easy to set this one to music, with focus on lifting up my eyes and ultimate focus on where my help comes from: MY HELP (real, very present help) comes from The Lord.

  • I am so grateful for this wonderful reminder to start my day. Jesus is our hope–not my house or my job or my husband. Jesus. He provided for and protected Israel and He will do the same for me. Praise the Lord!

  • There is hope, there is hope in the Lord. There is hope in king Jesus, hope in God. Thank you Lord for your promises we patiently wait on you. These scripture encourages me to hope, pray and trust in God each day.

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