Songs for the Road: The Psalms of Ascent: Day 2

Trust in God as Our Protector

by

Today's Text: Psalm 121:1-8

Scripture Reading: Psalm 121

The Christian life is a climb—a journey of constant growth, sacrifice, and trusting God for what we cannot see. As Eugene Peterson said, we are pilgrims, but we are also disciples—always moving and always learning. The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) were sung by worshipers as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. In this 3-week reading plan, we are digging into these traveling songs with the help of short summary essays and thoughtful, reflective questions for each psalm. Take your pack on your shoulder and walk with us as we pursue God together.

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Psalm 121 (CSB)
THE LORD OUR PROTECTOR
A song of ascents.

1 I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
your Protector will not slumber.
4 Indeed, the Protector of Israel
does not slumber or sleep.

5 The LORD protects you;
the LORD is a shelter right by your side.
6 The sun will not strike you by day
or the moon by night.

7 The LORD will protect you from all harm;
he will protect your life.
8 The LORD will protect your coming and going
both now and forever.

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A Song of Providence
This is a song for the anxious and afraid. When all the voices of fear and accusation come rushing in, the pilgrim-disciple remembers that her help comes from the One who governs heaven and earth.

Our Helper is also our Keeper. The One who watches over us does not sleep. The One who guards our souls cannot be moved. The God who paints the fields with wildflowers and tends to the sparrows is the same God who cares for us.

 

Reflect
1. Where do you feel you need God’s help most right now? What are you thinking about as you read this song?

2. Is it easy or difficult for you to accept that God is able to help you? Why?

3. Which statements in this psalm encourage you most? Why? In what ways has God already shown that He has done everything described in this psalm?

SRT-POA-Instagram-Day2s

  • Embati Geoffrey

    I had worry of drinking soda from a person i did trust its safe from poisoning ,but its now three days i have not felt anything bad in my body.so i still have the worry that iswhy i need your prayers .

  • I needed to hear this , I’ve recently lost my position due to ineffective management and, have been praying for a clean heart to allow God’s Grace and Mercy to shine through. Anxiety can creep in at times, but, I try not to let it and focus on the things I can change and make better . This is my first post and I couldn’t stay silent . Thank you for creating this place of devotion to keep encouragement and focus on God .

    • Alex

      Thank you for sharing this Kanisha. I have also experienced work-related struggles and have tried to remind myself to call on the Lord for help, and lean on Him in moments of need. His plan is great, and He will guide us where He wants us to go! Thank you for your courage to share your experience :)

  • Anxiety is something I have had all my life, in small certain areas of my life. I have learnt to lean on God and ask his support to get through these certain situations and it really works. Recently my life has had some huge changes, physically with my health affecting every other aspect of my life and my anxiety has resurfaced. Accepting that this is what it is has caused more anxiety, so it has been difficult, it’s hard to trust God has got my back about something when I don’t really know I need it. Twisted turmoil. This morning I was talking to a close friend and I finally admitted that I am so anxious (admitting it’s my anxiety). It is not by chance nor by coincidence that today I read this psalm, and reflect on it. God does have my back, even though I haven’t asked he watches over me. Today this Psalm is such a reminder for me, “the Lord will keep me from all harm – he will watch over my life, the Lord will watch over my coming and going both now and forevermore.” What a blessing this is!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Angela! Asking the Lord to calm your anxiety and to continue to bring you joy through His Word. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Melanie Bisson

    This is something I struggle with regularly. I know and have experienced God is always right there and wants to help you through it all, being that guide and protector. Then my mind floods with thoughts of what about the woman who was raped and murdered yesterday or the folks who died in a car accident? He loves all of His children and is deeply burdened when another one of His children makes a poor choice and hurts another, etc. It makes it difficult to read this and fully trust it. Walk outside proudly knowing, you know?

  • Courtney

    After my reading today I found strength knowing as I go through changes and fear tries to overtake me I need to look up and know that the lord is always there. I need to get my strength from him!

  • P, you are not alone. I have (and continue to) struggled with believing God is truly with me. That He wants me, is looking over me, protecting me, loves me. But He made me…He designed me and You. Even though it may feel impossible to see at times… today I am looking at the mountains desperately asking to know He is there and that He is watching over me. I think there is so much beauty in our journey of seeking Him, as God’s timing is so not our own. Praying that God gives us both peace and the strength to trust Him in silence or pain.

  • I feel that God does not want to help me due to how I have asked for years for His help in a certain situation but it has not improved. I am strugging to even believe. What I’m asking for I think matches up with scripture & yet I don’t know what is going on.

    • Amanda

      You’re not alone in this struggle. I’m praying that God will give you eyes to see Him thru the disappointments and long wait.

  • Annabelle

    In answering the second reflection question I was thinking about how I don’t feel worthy of God’s help. Because I’m not. But I was reminded that because of Jesus I am able to receive God’s help and that he is always waiting for me to ask. While praying recently I have been visualising Jesus in the beach waiting for me and everything I arrive he is excitedly waiting to embrace me. We turn and run from God but he NEVER runs from us. Amen

  • Abby Black

    I have been filled with anxiety since having my second child. Today I was reminded that our God is constant, and a protector. I could feel some of my anxiety melting away

    • Annabelle

      Hi Abby, I pray that your anxiety might continue to melt away and that you may know God’s love and peace and that it may be ever present in this time. Amen

  • I have been in a very empty season this past year. I feel the farthest away from God than I have ever have. I’m not sure what I need.

    • Tamara

      Hello Samantha,
      I cannot help you with finding out your need, but I have been feeling like I wasn’t connecting with God that much lately aswell. Mostly because I didn’t have/take the time to read the bible or pray.. it helped doing that more, and noticing the little proofs of God’s interest in my life also did. Like God making sure the raise my husband got (and I didn’t realise it was coming) was exactly the amount of money we laked for our savings. It felt like a wink.. you worried, I got it already taken care of.. just so much love.. He shouldnt have made it that exact amount, but He did, just to show He knows me.. :D

      He loves you too, so go search for this little lights of proof

  • ‘The Lord is your Keeper. The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor by night.’ Psalm 112:5-6
    Can you sense Him? He is right there beside you, even when you aren’t even aware. Thank you Lord Jesus for having my back and for being my Keeper and Protector, giving me strength to push on through the circumstances that at times seem unbearable. Thank you Lord that you who made the heavens and the earth care so deeply for little old me!

  • Jennifer Vaughn-Estrada

    It’s worth noting that, in the New Testament, specifically in John, the Holy Spirit is referred to as our Helper or Comforter, highlighting this sort of role.

  • “How satisfying to turn from our limitations, to a God who has none.”

  • I feel so emptied of out of all strength, resources, confidence- even any ability to like or feel comfortable in myself. It’s not like I’m going through a new, difficult season but 9 years of mental illness (even if it is now high functioning) has that effect on you. Turning my eyes away from me and onto Him is my oxygen. I am empty but He is full. I have never wrestled anything as much as His no’s and waits on this sorrowful journey. How is he keeping me and protecting me from evil? Ah… but his rejections really are his mercies. Nothing has driven me into the heard of God more than this illness- what safer place is there to be? I come to Him wanting quick fixes and rescues and He woes me into a slow, deep and abiding relationship with Him. And when I cannot trace His protective hand in my circumstances, I can absolutely trust His heart!

  • I was thinking about him painting the field with wildflowers and realizing I need exercise and nature. I need to find a way to do this. It is easy for me to believe he helps me. I ask questions and he answers them. He’s so near, nearer than my own breath. I think this part strikes me most, “The LORD protects you;
    the LORD is a shelter right by your side” and, “1 I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
    Where will my help come from?
    2 My help comes from the LORD,
    the Maker of heaven and earth” because it reminds me how much he cares for me and how I am not alone.

  • Melody Suarez

    I need help from the Lord in the new marriage I’m about to enter. A lot of stuff has come out in premarital that I was not expecting. Yet it’s so good because I know God is bringing up this stuff so He can heal us when all I see is a big mess. Sometimes it’s hard for me to accept that He can help me because I always try to fix things by myself and by myself I mean by behavior modification but I know that I need God to heal my heart. My favorite passage is the passage that says “the Lord will keep you from ALL evil”
    Idk why, but that is so relevant because we are living in a world where the enemy is lurking the streets to find something to ruin and I feel like when God says He will keep me from all Evil, that means saving me from myself and my evil ways too.

  • This is so beautiful to me! I am a visual person. When I am walking or driving I think of these verses.
    1 I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
    Where will my help come from?
    2 My help comes from the LORD,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
    When I prepare to go into difficult situation I reflect on these verses. It helps focus me and remind me I am protected and He’s got this. This weekend I will be in a touch situation repeating these verse will help me know God is in charge not me and to lean on Him and not me–because my help comes from Him an only Him. Saying this to myself-protects me from the evil one and not allowing devil to take over. Thank you for helping me focus on our Protector!

  • With waters surrounding my little town , and then more rain and then news about some blood work & the headlines I momentarily drifted …this was the reminder I needed. There is joy in moving towards the Lord’s plans for me. I simply needed to move! Thank you!

  • I just joined recently, God is always there for us. A great word to keep in my heart.

    • She Reads Truth

      Welcome, Lynn! So glad you are reading with us.

      – Stormye

  • I pray for protection today as I take a big AP test. Protection over me as well as my classmates, that we will do well and not be overcome by stress.

  • Christina L

    I have been playing catch up this week in this SRT reading series. For the last 2 1/2 years SRT has been a huge part of my spiritual walk, a daily commitment to spend time with God. Honestly, some days it has been a shear act of obedience rather than a joyful God-honouring time, but God honours obedience and He has brought me through some dark days. Recently I have allowed my judgement to become cloudy and let others tasks and duties crowd out my time with God. Coming back to SRT this week has been refreshing, like a drink of cool water or a breath of fresh air. In answer to the question, “Which statements in this psalm encourage you most?” , for me it would have to be verses 3 & 4, “your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep”. As a child I was afraid of the dark. Sometimes I would wake up late at night, when everyone in the house was asleep, and I would think to myself that I am alone in the dark. I desperately wanted to wake someone up but was afraid to do so for fear they would think I was being silly and so I lay in the dark feeling alone. As an adult I have been prone to times of anxiety and depression. I have been married for over 30 years and my husband has always told me that whenever I have those time when I cannot sleep, to just wake him up so that he can sit with me and be with me so that I don’t have to face it alone. I hate to do that, and rarely follow orders, because I don’t want to ruin his sleep. The reality is, these verses have brought me great comfort in my adult years of dealing with anxiety and depression. As God’s creations we require sleep as a regular part of the rhythm of how He created us, but the Creator of the heavens and earth doesn’t have such requirements. He never sleeps. So now, in the dark of the night, when the darkness threatens to steal my rest, my joy and my peace, I turn to my Protector, the one who never sleeps and I know that I am never alone. Sisters, it is good to be back with my SRT community.

  • My college roommate had Psalm 121:8 framed by the door our freshman year, and I have only grown to appreciate that verse more over the years. Years later, a friend read it to me at a time of difficult goodbyes. I now find such great comfort in it, especially in times of transition and uncertainty.

  • It is so encouraging to me to be able to read these Psalms and then the comments and have them reaffirm in my heart what I feel God has been telling me. Rest. Wait. Look to Me. Stop pushing for things and control when it isn’t time and not your place. Daily (if not hourly) surrendering my worries and stresses, choosing to accept His peace and to rest in Him.

  • God has always carried me through I know this I’m all ways careful how much I ask for.fear of the unknown

  • The Lord is the only steady thing, He gives me community that surrounds me day and night. Christ be all around me

  • I’m learning to trust God in all aspects of my life. God is my protector forever and always.

  • Allison Joy

    I love this psalm. I am in a pretty “good” place right now, and I have definitely seen God’s work in my life in the past, and have seen Him walk me through the valleys. I’ve had various medical issues, starting shortly after birth. Nothing that would be considered life threatening, really, but I was tube fed for a few months because I refused to eat. I was really far behind physically, too. When I was nine I had major surgery on my hips because it was discovered that I had hip dysplasia. Then, perhaps as a result of the hip problems when I was a child, I had a hip replacement at age 29… Again, nothing life threatening, but life altering, and not something you expect to have to do before you turn 30! (That’s the short version :))

    I grew up in a Christian home, and my mom played piano for our church, so I have heard the old hymns literally from the womb. So God really speaks to me through music, and, because of that, I think, Psalms is my favorite book.

    With Psalm 121, especially, I LOVE Laura Story’s song taken from this. It’s technically on her Christmas album, because she imagined Mary singing it, trying to figure out what was going on, but it’s definitely not a “Christmas” song, if that makes sense. Here’s a link to that song. I’m going to go ahead and post the one with Laura’s explanation, even though that part is a bit “Christmasy.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCDWozJBF3E

    And here’s a link to the longer version of my story, if anyone cares to read it: http://hipdysplasia.org/patient-stories/adult/allison/

    • She Reads Truth

      Allison, thank you so much for sharing even a small part of your story. So grateful to have you in this community.

      – Stormye

    • Jody Heavenrich Hensley

      Inspiring story, Allison, thanks for sharing the link!!!

  • Hi everyone. I’m new to the SRT family. Yesterday, I was laid off from my job. I worked for a non profit as the community liaison and I loved the work I did. Prior to this, I was in a corporate job I hated. I was so thankful God opened these doors. Then yesterday, he closed them. I am shocked and hurt, but I also find comfort knowing that my Protector does not sleep. I don’t know what He has in store, but I know that I can trust fully. There’s been a lot of change in my life as of late, so I really resonate with the last verse “The LORD will protect your coming and going
    both now and forever.”

    • She Reads Truth

      Oh sweet friend, I am so sorry to hear you are going through this right now. Asking the Lord to bring you a new opportunity and to provide comfort in this time of hurt and uncertainty. We are so grateful to have you in this SRT community. Welcome.

      – Stormye

  • Right now, I am struggling with, “Lean on me, I have you in my arms.” It is hard for me to completely understand that God isn’t just our Judge, but our Comforter and safe haven. I get so caught up in “Oh, I will be punished for this,” and, “I can’t do that because it is sin.” But, I do not realize that instead of saying those things, I can say to God, “Lord protect me, cover me in your grace and mercy.” I want to be able to see God like this always, and not just when I am reminded of it. I pray tonight that I will look to God as if He is my comforter. As if He is the only thing that brings me joy.

  • You know those times God says “no” and you don’t know why? Or when He says “wait” and you don’t understand? I’ve been pondering that a lot lately because I’m in a season of “no”s and “wait”s. My counselor challenged me to think about the idea of God protecting me from something when He says no, or when I lose or miss out on something I thought I needed/wanted. I’ve been fighting to trust that God knows what’s best and has only the best in store for me. I believe it; I know it’s true. But it’s hard to actively trust that. Just moments ago I was praying, lamenting. I don’t see the whole picture, and I don’t have my “why”s answered, but after reading this I realize that God is actively protecting me in ways I can’t even see. Sure, it’s easy to watch Him protect me from the things I *want* to be protected from. But what about the things I don’t want to be protected from? I will kick and scream, but He is a loving God. Because He loves me that much and keeps His promises—one of which is to always protect me—He will keep me from things that will harm me even when I don’t see them. Sometimes His answer is “no” or “wait” because He is keeping His promise to protect me. It’s hard to accept still sometimes, but there is peace in knowing that.

    • Sarah

      Thank you for that Eriana. I find your words very comforting. I too have been in a season of no and wait, but mostly it’s seemed like God wasn’t listening. I never really thought about Him protecting me from what I cannot see. I just felt the anger and frustration without remembering that God always has the best in mind for me. I’ll reflect on this.

      • Eriana

        Oh Sarah, anger and frustration are all too familiar to me, so I totally understand! He is always working for our good, as Romans 8:28 tells us. Hold onto that!

    • She Reads Truth

      Eriana, this was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing! So glad that the Lord has revealed this to you and granted you more of a peace in a time where you feel like you’re lacking in understanding. Grateful for you, friend.

      – Stormye

    • DC

      Thank you Eriana. This study caused me to consider that my 23 years of “no’s and waits” were for my own good, but not specifically that God was acting as my protector. A lot of those years I’ve felt “punished” and that I’d been forced into the unwanted role of martyr. Now I can trust that worse things would have happened had God allowed me to have my own way. I can be grateful for my “grit your teeth” stubborn obedience in the past and pray for loving, joyful future obedience.

  • Keri McCue

    ” Indeed, the Protector of Israel
    does not slumber or sleep.” This verse comforts me the most. Knowing that my Father never misses a thing. He is always alert and always knows what’s going on. And even further than just knowing what’s going on, He is over all has approved all that is happening. Knowing that He is in full control always settles my soul!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Part of this psalm is in the song Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns :)

    I life my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

  • I need God’s help most in believing for myself as much as I do for others. I have all the faith in the world when it comes to God performing miracles, blessing, healing, delivering, and liberating others. As I read this song, I’m grateful to be a daughter of a God that protects me and ALWAYS watches for me. The part that gets me is the fact that He will never let me stumble (or let my foot slip). Reading this just reminds me of why it is so important for me to spend more time with God than I do anything else. Spending more time with Him will enable me to know Him more; the more I know Him, the more I trust Him. Furthermore, the more I trust Him, the more I’ll allow Him to protect me from stumbling. The reality is if I stumble, it’s not because God is not protecting me, but more so because I’m trying to protect myself on my own; causing me to fall short & my foot to slip. Nevertheless, the part that encourages me the most is the fact that even if my foot slips and/or I stumble, God is still protecting my life both NOW & FOREVER!!!!!!

    • Priscilla

      I feel like you are describing me in this comment. It’s encouraging to be reminded I’m not the only one struggling. I’m bearing a heavy burden these days and this study is good for my soul. Thank you Assyria for you honesty!

  • I need help to let go of guilt. To forgive myself and to let this dark cloud over me disappear.
    Though I know He forgives me and doesn’t want me to dwell, it is extremely hard.
    Question: since God knows us and knows our past, present, and future does he know when we will sin and what sin we will commit?
    I guess I’m trying to understand why this trial I’ve been in is happening and if there is a reason for it. I hope I’m making sense.

    • Holly

      Blessed, you are making sense. In fact, you’re echoing some of the very things that trip me up. All too often, I try to bury guilt within me rather than give it over to God so that He can redeem me from it. As for your question, I believe that God knows everything, just like you said. I also believe that God knows all of the mistakes that I’ve made, am making, and will continue to make (until I’m in Heaven). This is what makes grace so amazing. I don’t know if I could forgive someone if I knew that they would betray me again and again. Yet God keeps forgiving me; his mercies are new each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). That brings me to your last point, which is another one that I struggle with. I don’t know why, but I believe that God knows why. God has been reminding me a lot lately that His ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). The one thing that I do know is that God can make good things out of bad things (Romans 8:28). I’m praying that God will overwhelm us both with his perfect peace. I’m also praying that God will comfort us in our trials so that we may comfort others in their trials (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

    • Emily B.

      Not dwelling on your past mistakes takes a lot of mind-changing. I found it helpful to memorize certain verses to keep in my head whenever my mind would go to a bad place. This is my most recent one: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
      ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:4-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  • The help I need right now is help to trust that God’s plan is bigger and better than any plan I might have for myself. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully for 13 months, and I am at the stage of my life (29 next month) that it seems as though almost everyday someone else I know is announcing a pregnancy. Not only do I feel discouraged and heartbroken, I am struggling with feelings of guilt and shame that I should be feeling joy, not bitterness, when I hear what is such delightful news for my friends. It is a comfort to know that he will protect my heart during this time and not allow my foot to slip as I seek contentment in him and his will in my life.

    • LS

      Fertility is such a tough, sensitive journey. It’s difficult to share with others too because they don’t know what to say or they say something insensitive. We struggled with this also for 4 years. At no stage in life are we guaranteed what anyone else has. Pride and comparison will ruin your heart. Guard your heart from comparison. Share with those who are encouraging, but also pour out your heart to God. I am so thankful to say that we are parents now, although the road wasn’t easy and certainly doesn’t look like anyone else’s journey. God gave us a story to tell. But even if we weren’t, God is still good and He is faithful.

      • Shannon Geletzke

        I too struggled with infertility for 15 years. I’m a mommy of 4 through adoption and feel blessed by God’s love that he gave me 4 beautiful children.

    • Emily B.

      Comparison is the thief of joy. I’m sorry you’ve been struggling, and I hope and pray God will encourage your spirit.

  • . I see the problems.. (mountains).. the limitations. They bind and are very big in my sight. Then we look up.. The creator of heaven and earth is our protector and our right hand guide.. And creator of all.. Nothing is to complex or over whelming for Jesus. He speaks and it happens.. He is the Word from the beginning to the end. Thank you for pouring into our hearts your Spirit Lord. You never leave us. Help us to trust in you more and more.

  • I just wanted to add: Though our protection is ULTIMATE, we are not always protected from harm here on earth.

  • The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. What does this mean when there are random accidents? Violent attacks? Terminal disease? The Lord HAS protected our lives through Jesus. Even if our earthly bodies are harmed or hurt or diseased or die, the harm, hurt, disease or death is not final for those who know Christ. Sometimes, it is hard to wrap my mind around when people say things like “the Lord blessed us with safe travel” when other people are victims of random accidents… does this mean the Lord did not see fit to bless those people as well? I do not know how to answer that, especially when those asking the question are the ones who have suffered loss. What I DO know is this: no eternal harm will come to those who have faith in Christ.

    • Kimone

      That’s it! Those who believe in Christ and die will live again, and those who live believing will never see (spiritual) death. It doesn’t mean God loves someone less or failed to protect someone who may be the victim of an accident, however having a relationship with God makes everything a little easier because you know death is not the end.

  • Just two days after losing my FIL I trust that the Lord will protect me and help me in this time of trouble

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • My turning 6-month old baby just got out of the hospital after 2weeks of confinement due to bacterial infection. While I was there watching him suffer the pain especially when the doctors had to perform an incision and drainage to drain the abcess in his swollen lymph node, my heart was crushed.. I had no one to turn to but God. I had to stand on what He says about Himself, that He is good even in the midst of the storm. He once again proved His faithfulness by answering my prayer for my son to be healed. However, as a first time mom, I sometimes feel inadequate of taking care of my baby, sometimes it’s hard not to feel guilty when my child gets sick, despite my efforts to keep him healthy. I need to completely surrender the well being of my child to Him, and believe that He is Sovereign, in control, and the Protector of my family. Praying that I may not feel afraid of whatever my child has to go through, standing on the Truth that He is our protector. The shelter by our side.

    • Gina

      It is so hard to gove children fully to God…isn’t it? Last year, my little girl had a really bad stomach flu-definitely nit as scary as an infection, but seeing a little body heave over a toilet is very hard. She got so dehydrated that her hands and feet became so dry.
      I went to bed and could not sleep, and realized how tightly I hold on to them….to have total faith on God is scary…that means I have to trust that whatever happens is his will.
      So I understand. Even though we do it….it is difficult. But I would rather go through it with Him than without Him. What would we do if we couldn’t lean on Him? That would even be scarier!!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you and your sweet little one, Misce. Asking the Lord to grant health and peace. Grateful for you!

      – Stormye

    • Tina

      Misce. Praying for you and your little man..hoping you know the goodness of God in this time.. He is with your family through this..
      He is good. Always has been..
      Sending you love and hugs Misce…xx

  • Diane Huntsman

    My help comes from the Lord.. he made the heavens and the earth so my issues are not too hard for Him.. such a needed reminder.. He’s not to busy for me and you.. He’s not preoccupied by His phone or the universe He needs to run.. He’s personal and He wants to be the One we turn to for help.. not the friend, not that tangible thing that we naturally look to.. He is our help.. He cares deeply for us.. and we all need some sort of help in this complicated life.

  • This psalm has long been a comfort to me, but I had not read it as a journeying song until today. I am lifting my eyes to the hills – not because they are beautiful and inspiring but because they are standing in the path I supposed am to take, and I must cross through them to reach my destination. They are full of possible troubles and dangers, but something much more important is on the other side. And so I look to God, and he will guide me safely along the cliffs and heights, he will shelter me from exposure to the burning sun, he will protect me from the rockfalls, the flash floods, the wild animals along my way. And when I reach the summit and look down on the green valleys on the other side, I will say “Thanks be to God!” – and then I will feel the grasp of His hand again as I begin my descent.

    • Emily B.

      I love this picture–it’s a great representation of how God cares for us. Thank you for sharing!

  • Gina Gomez

    1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
    This verse helps me take my eyes off my struggle and focus on my God and His promises for me.
    We live in a fallen world (for the moment) so we will have trials and tribulations but my God will be with me every step of the way and knowing that brings me great comfort.

  • I have begun to personalize the scripture rewriting each phrase, adding to it the concerns of the day. The Lord protects ME. The Lord is a shelter by MY right side as I journey through this storm. It reminds me of a favorite prayer which reads: The Lords faithfulness in my past makes him trustworthy for my future. Thank you so much for this new study on the Ascent Psalms.

  • My favorite line is, “the Lord is a shelter right by your side”. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses, Isaiah 30:15 – “In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust shall be your strength.”

    • Carla

      YES! Beautiful meditation that reminds me I can wait patiently upon the Lord with quietness, trust, and assurance.

    • Veronica

      I absolutely love that verse as well. ❤️

  • Victoria A.

    For me, it’s not that it’s difficult to accept God is ABLE to help me, but that he WILL help me. There are a lot of things in my life that leave me questioning if God really is protecting me. I’m really thankful for these guided questions today because in answering “what ways has God already shown that he has done everything described” I’ve been encouraged. Yes- I’ve been through some really terrible and painful things, but even now God has provided ways for me to help others. God has provided for me when I was so sure it wasn’t going to happen and above all, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Thank you, Lord for always being faithful to us even when humankind is not.

  • churchmouse

    There is so much evil in the world. There is so much random violence, unprovoked unexpected attacks. Places I used to go to carefree, I am now told by authorities to be vigilant, on alert for anything or anyone who seems amiss. It’s not just horrific events but there is a lack of common civility and kindness. I have to severely limit my watching of the news or it really could be overwhelming, paralyzing. And I know that is just what Satan would have me feel. This Psalm reminds me to keep my focus on my Protector who never sleeps. This Psalm keeps me on my knees with my eyes lifted up. My Protector is awake, alert, always on the job, at His post. And this Protector is no slouch – He is the maker of heaven and earth! He is powerful. He is more than able. This Psalm is one I pray daily. And especially for my future son in law who is in the military. He serves in places none of us would want to go. I am comforted that God is right there with him.

  • ‘I lift my eyes to the mountains. Where will my help come from?’ First, I lift my eyes and thoughts and heartache away from my problems, what shakes me up, those feelings of inadequacy and shame, or body pain or heart pain; at the same time, I am lifting my eyes to an unshakeable, immovable, solid ground, and mighty mountain (God) who also created the mountains in the first place. Change of perspective. Away from what shakes me up, to, He Who cannot be shaken. Then, I can see Him clearly as Helper, Protector, Shelter, and Maker

  • As I was reflecting on this scripture this I thought about the day to day protection we receive from the Lord. He watches over me at night and keeps me safe. All the times I have travelled in the car and I got to and from my destination safely. I work in a neighborhood that is not the safest. He has kept me from hurt, harm and danger. Just the day to day protection is a great blessing we don’t always think about. Thank You Lord for Psalms 121:7 – The Lord will protect you from all harm: He will protect your life.

  • I actually started this study a couple of days early. My husband and I have recently made the decision to move from IL to TN. We have our house on the market and are seeking employment. We believe God is directing us. One of The very first questions in the workbook is “What do you want to leave? Why?” I know all of the reasons I have wanted to leave where I am. In the last few months, I believe I have begun to see God closing doors and making a way for us to leave. I haven’t always understood His whys, but I trust Him

  • I need God’s help and protection in a big way right now because we just found out I am pregnant! After many doctors told us the chances were highly unlikely, I’m thrilled to share the Lord has seen fit to give us a child. That said, I am so early in this journey and praying desperately that the lord would protect this baby he’s given us and that this life would be a true testament to his power as the maker of heaven and earth. Would you ladies join me in praying protection for me and my baby this morning? Jesus is so able and so good. I pray I would press into him in this season and that he would receive all the glory and honor and praise for that he’s done.

    • Katalina

      Oh congratulations!!! So happy to hear the good news and praying for that little miracle God has given you ❤️

    • ~ B ~

      Oh, Kelly. Congratulations! This is beautiful news and while I know that, I know the worry you speak of. Isn’t it amazing how something you’ve long so hard for can have elation turn right to fear. I will be prayerful that God provide cover for your concern and that He protect you and that wee babe you carry. I will be praying that you be blessed with a season of peace and health and that this be for His glory entirely, a testament to His miracles in our lives. Ah, such an exciting and nerve wracking season alike.

    • Michele

      Prayers for a wonderful pregnancy and healthy baby!

    • DM

      Praying you are both wrapped in His arms and remain safe and healthy. Congrats and blessings to you and your little family.

    • Emily B.

      Congratulations! How awesome to see your prayers and desires physically manifested in your little one. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Missy

      Congratulations Kelly! Praying for God’s hand of protection on this precious, miraculous life, and praying for a peace over you that passes all understanding!!

    • Hilary

      Congratulations! Praying for you and that sweet blessing right now.

    • Lynne

      Kelly, what exciting news! Isn’t it awesome that doctors don’t have the final word in our lives! I’m praying that God will be with you and your precious miracle!

    • She Reads Truth

      Absolutely praying for a healthy pregnancy for you, Kelly! Also rejoicing with you!!

      – Stormye

    • Tochi Heredia

      YAY! Praying for you and your bebe <3

    • Kelly

      Thank you ladies SO much!!!! ❤️ This means so much more than you know.

  • My family and I made the decision to move from an apt to a townhouse a couple months ago and now we’re at the new house. I have to say, it was a bit risky because we were pretty much living pay check to pay check in terms of paying rent plus all the other expenses. Now we’ve moved to where just the rent went up almost $700. My father was the most hesitant about making this decision…. but my mother knew and I’ve learned from her that God will always respond for us. He’s already blessed us with moments and actions that only could’ve been done at the hands of Him. I’m still wondering where I’m going to be able to make some extra money to help my family but God knows my needs and He will help me when the time is right. If you just rest and pray and have faith in Him, He will always respond. My family has been too blessed by Him not to believe that He is our Provider, our Anchor, and our First Responder.

  • I needed this. I needed to be able to close my eyes and imagine journeying. That is what we are doing anyway … walking with Christ is a journey. This portion of my path has had me take a few more stops to catch my breath and had me missing the beauty on the way, my head has had me just moving forward, trying to force myself through the muck as the burden of weight in my pack keeps worsening but my heart is needing things to slow down, to take a rest and yet it doesn’t feel possible. I have walked through harder portions, we have been through worse then this. I have seen Jesus work miracles in my life and protect me when I thought all was lost and still, here I am, facing giants with no stones in my palm. It is so easy to let that overwhelm me, to worry about the future, about the simple tasks in this season of joblessness for my husband, to fear the worst for the things my middle daughter is contending with, to worry that my son’s academia struggles are more than they seem, to become angry that we were finally, for the first time ever “comfortable”, angry that my personal work and job is having to take a back seat, to feel like the house will never be clean again and the small drip from the kitchen sink will never get repaired and the floor will fall out right from under me … no stones in my palm. And so my pack, just keeps getting heavier but I walk and my vision stunted … no stones in my palm. Here I am, vacation three days away. After many hardships, we haven’t been anywhere “real” in eight years and finally, we are here and no matter how hard I try, all I can see is a number spinning overhead as I think to it, the speedy ticking away of our dollars … no stones in my palm. My mind is wrapped with the long list of “to-dos”, my children bickering amongst each other and my husband’s stuff and … no stones in my palm. But I sit here this morning and I breathe. I read the words, these faithful, old friends,

    “Where will my help come from? My help comes from the LORD … The LORD will protect you from all harm; he will protect your life. The LORD will protect your coming and going both now and forever.”

    And so, I sit here … no stones in my palm, and yet I know the same God that saw fit to stand with David as he faced his giant, will see fit to not only stand with me in mine but will face these giants FOR me. So I open these empty palms and I lift them because though my head is hurting and my heart is troubled, I know my Father is faithful on this walk, I know He hurts for me and our needs will always be met, my savior goes before me conquering these giants on my behalf, I can calm my panic and quit looking for stones on this journey and put my empty palm in my Christ’s, give over my burdened pack and trust Him entirely to lead … because though it may be dark and windy, He will never leave me/us and we will journey this out together with NO need for stones in my palm …. Praise God that He has already provided victory and all I have to do is walk. Love to you all! ~ B

    • DM

      AMEN!! and PRAISE God!!! I kept reading and thinking , “you don’t need stones you have the Lord on your side.” Praying for your “head to stop hurting” and your “troubled heart.” It seems to me you “…have lifted (your) eyes to the mountains” Psalm 121:1

    • Missy

      So beautifully written B. Praying for you and praising God with you that He alone is our help!! We can absolutely trust and believe in His help and protection….. in ALL things!

    • churchmouse

      B, my palms have been empty of stones also and yet… His hand grasps mine all the tighter when there are no stones. Praying for you and your family today. So grateful for your words. They so often touch me deeply.

    • Hilary

      B – I hope that your vacation is a wonderful getaway for your whole family. I pray that you can all just take a breath and enjoy your time away together and that it renews your spirit to start again when you get home.

    • Cecelia Enns Schulz

      This. Yes. Me too. For when I am without strength, then I am dynamite.

    • Tina

      Downing tools and lifting my empty hands in praise with you my dear friend. Sometimes in the ascent we need to turn round, stop, to see how far we have come, with Him alongside us…This is not a journey we do on or in our own strength… But with God…burdens are lightened, hurting hearts can sing, arms that are heavy can be raised in praised, because He helps raise them…feet that are heavy and dirty through the struggles of life, are washed and are made lighter.. He protects, He provides, He loves… He is with us… always and for ever…
      Amen.. and thank you Lord God.

      Go enjoy your family time knowing dearest, that He has gone ahead with the blessings of protection and provision..
      Sending you all hugs wrapped in love…xxx

    • ~ B ~

      Thank you so much, ladies! For meeting me right where I am right now. Your encouragement and prayers are greatly appreciated.

  • I don’t doubt that God is able. My doubt comes from whether HE will choose to. There are so many events in the Scriptures (and in more recent life) where God allows some really sad and difficult times. So my fear comes from not knowing if HE will or HE will not. It is scary to me.

    • Emily

      Sheila, I’m in a similar place right now. Question 2 today was hard for me for that reason- yes I believe He can but, as you say, WILL He? This feels especially tender as so much of my struggle is around my young daughter. I find comfort in trusting, this is where He wants us. That here, in this struggle, is exactly where He wants both she and I. In the SRT bible there’s a reflection on the page with this particular Psalm and it references Romans 5: 3-4: ‘but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.’ This is my hope, that God is keeping us, that He will not allow our feet to slip (Ps 121:3), and that once His work is done, this will be different. Oh I hope so! I hope this helps. I’m writing it as much for me as you. But you’re not alone in these fears!

      • Emily

        Also I’ll add, in really new to Faith, so if I hope I didn’t use Scripture incorrectly or reference it wrong. I am very much learning. But I’m here, thanks be to God!

      • sheila

        Thank you, Emily. I sometimes wonder if my fears are an indicator of something bigger–like not being His for real and only thinking I am. To know I am not alone in these fears is comforting.

    • Katalina

      I’ve struggled with that in the past too Sheila. But as I grew more involved with my relationship with Christ, I learned that whatever happens in my life, whether good or bad, is God’s way of telling me He is in control and that all I have to do is give up that control to Him. Sometimes those moments that are scary are the perfect moment to use your faith to help calm you in the midst of a storm. It’s not easy but it is possible. When you relinquish that control, even when things aren’t going the way you desired or the way you asked God, you feel a peace knowing that you can handle whatever comes and that there’s a reason or something better waiting for you ❤️

      • sheila

        Wow Katalina. I need to talk to you daily. You are speaking TRUTH with such confidence. I wish I had that. Thank you for your words of hope.

    • Emily

      Also I’ll add I’m really new to Faith, so I hope I didn’t use scripture incorrectly or reference it wrong. I am learning! But I’m here, thanks be to God!

    • Vicki

      Hi Sheila. Sometimes we get our desires ahead of God’s will. He is ALWAYS working things out for our good…but our thoughts on what is good for us and His thoughts aren’t always the same. Paul says in Philippians, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.” That part we love. The empty tomb. Life and life more abundantly. But, he goes on to say, “and to fellowship with Him in His sufferings, becoming like Him even unto death.” Ouch. Somehow, we forget that we don’t get to the resurrection without the suffering and death. If we allow Him to work in us, He will put the same resolve in us, through the power and work of Holy Spirit in us, that Jesus had in the garden when He declared, “nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done.”

      • sheila

        Thank you, Vicki. I do know this in my head. By the time it travels to my heart, it just flips it from hope to fear knowing that even Jesus got a no to not suffering the pain. I will continue to pray though. I am grateful to know that God will always allow me to run to HIM even in those lack of trust times. Thank you for sowing seeds of TRUTH into my heart of fear.

    • Carolina

      Trusting the Lord implies trusting His timing and ways. Whatever happens in your life WILL definitively be the best for you. You can trust the love of God, He has the best thoughts for us, the best plans, and we have to learn to see with His eyes. I have leant from experience that when some doors are closed before me, it’s just because there is something better for me, though I may not be able to see it at the time. God bless you my sister, the best is yet to come! Greetings from Argentina!

    • Lindsey

      I struggle with this as well. I just finished reading (for the second time) God is Able by Priscilla Shirer. She covers this topic well; definitely recommend you checking it out.

    • Emily B.

      One of my all-time favorite verses talks about fear: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and self-discipline.” You’ve got His Spirit in you–He’s got you, no matter what you feel.

    • L

      I can totally relate to this. I have trouble with both trust (as you mentioned, will God answer this prayer? Is my request in line with his will?) and also with patience. I get so wrapped up in my worries that I want to act, to “fix”, to make it go away, so I struggle to give over my worries and fears into God’s hands without trying to come up with my own fix-it solution.
      Last weekend our pastor highlighted that Jesus promised us that following him would involve ‘trials and sorrows’ (John 16:33). Today I pray for patience and trust!

  • I appreciate the Reflection questions in this particular study. I have gone through the Psalms of Ascent with Beth Moore study and these Psalms are rich in reflection.

    Psalm 121 has always been an encouragement to me but in this season I am currently walking in this Psalm is my anchor. Truly all of my help comes from the Lord and no other and I am so grateful for that promise. May we receive His help today ladies in whatever form it comes in!

  • I’m a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where a student stabbed and killed another student as well as injured others. This week marks the last week of classes and I am tired and worn out. Please pray for us as we wrap-up the semester. I will be looking expectantly to the hills these next few days.

    • Victoria

      Prayers for you and for your students. God kept you safe yesterday. He has a plan for you, Hope.

      • Karen

        Will be praying for all students and staff today.

        • Leslie

          My heart truly breaks for the un-fortunate events that happened at the University of Texas. My deepest condolences go out to everyone there. Sending lots of prayers for you, your students and your fellow co-workers. Hold tight to God during this and always.

    • Tina

      Praying God be with each and every one at the university and beyond.
      Sending hugs to you Hope..xx

    • Leslie

      Dear LORD, I pray you will be Hope’s shade now. Thank you for strategically placing her in this place where darkness wants to win but it will not. In her weariness may Your power be perfected and Your light be reflected through her. Amen.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you and your students and the family of the student who was lost.

      – Stormye

  • For number 2, it IS difficult for me to accept that God is able to help me, but to answer the question “why”, I had to think. I love the scripture, it makes me feel safe. But my worries, that I listed in my head, are, frankly, of my own making. I have a hard time thinking that God is really concerned with the things that I pick up on my own to worry over. I believe that he is with me, that he can comfort me, that he will watch over me…but there is a part of me that knows my worries are egged on by…me. I know this sounds bad, but it feels as though I should be able to handle this, and if I just tried a little harder I could let my worries go. I know in my head that’s incorrect. It’s just…hard.

    • Tanya

      I have had those exact same thoughts. God governs the universe…and I’m furiously praying or worrying about some tiny insignificant thing. I often feel like God has much broader, grander, more spiritual prayers to answer.

    • Emily B.

      Grace overrides all of that. I’ve definitely felt like my little worries were too small for God to acknowledge and that I should just get things figured out already, but He doesn’t leave me in the middle of my mess. I have to turn to Him, and He’ll be with me, no matter how “big” or “small” the situation is. He cares about all of it.

  • Tochi Heredia

    Fragile. Broken. Weak. Ill. Unprotected.
    That’s how I feel regarding worldy comfort and protection. I’ve had to learn to surrender and let go of control in a society where self-sufficiency is valuable thing.
    I believe He’s the only that can help and protect me, but I find it difficult to accept the ways in which He chooses to do so.
    I’m currently facing the fact that His help looks like quitting my job and trusting that He’ll provide for me anyways.
    The already-not-yet aspect of this life can be painful, but I’m learning that leaving everything behind to follow Him is the best way to go.

    Sisters, I need your prayers this week. I have to decide what to do about my job and I’m also seeing new doctors and getting tests done. I need wisdom and peace to make this decision and also need my family’s support and compassion in this process. It’s so hard telling strong, self-sufficient, (yet God-fearing) people that “I can’t do this anymore.”

    Lost of love and prayers to y’all. May you experience God’s protection in powerful ways ❤

    • Heather

      What if the weakest thing you could do is stay in your job? What if the strongest, bravest, most self-sufficient (yet God-fearing) action you could take would be to quit your job? I think especially for women, we get mixed up about that. It is scary to tell those strong people your choice, but I think if you got inside their heads, you might hear, “wow I wish I were brave enough to do that.” Maybe instead of thinking of this like, “I can’t do this anymore”, you might think, “Now I have got to do THIS,” which is quitting and trusting God. I’m not telling you what to do, just saying that you might be doing the bravest, most courageous thing of all by stopping.

      • Tochi Heredia

        I’m so, so grateful for your insight, Heather.

        Sending you lots of love!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you Tochi. So grateful for you. Trusting the Lord to provide answers in regards to your health and direction for your career.

      – Stormye

    • Heather Legge

      These are hard decisions. I recently had to cut my hours in half at work due to illness and a medical condition. But I’m a single mom and have to support myself. I’m trying to trust that God will continue to provide a way for me to rest and stay healthy and still be able to support myself.

    • Jess G

      Your words resonated so much with me. I know that He is able to help me too, but it’s really, really hard to accept His way sometimes. Thankfully for your honesty

  • This Psalm is one of my favorites…

    My beautiful girl is buried on the hill overlooking my home… From the front of my house I can see the hill, and from the hill I can see the road my house is on… I love that… There is something comforting about that, something reassuring, something hopeful…
    I lift my eyes to the hill, every day in my coming and going… yes, one to say hi to my beloved, but it goes beyond that… I lift my eyes beyond the hill, where my child lays, in dealing with the day to day, when times are tough, when things don’t make sense, when I have lost my way, when my heart hurts…the list is endless.. because it is only in looking up that I can breathe… I can move forward…, i have strength, protected by the Lord God’s love and grace..
    My help comes from the Lord… I would not be here had it not… it is certainly not in my own strength, or man’s
    But God’s….
    Amen and Thank you Lord God, for your grace and kindness, protection of heart, mind and soul of one who is for always getting it wrong, yet humbly looks to you… Thank you Lord God, that my hope is in you and that you have never let me down… things may not always look as I imagined or hoped but, by your grace they are always what they should be..
    All praise and Glory to you my Savior, my redeemer, my protector, my friend, my heart,, Thank you Lord God.. thank you.

    Lifting my eyes always.. to the hill.

    Happy Monday Sisters. Praying peace and grace over you… with love..xx

    • Alexis

      And Happy Tuesday (as I am reading this on Tuesday) Tina and thank you for sharing your heart and your beautiful thoughts with us. You are an example that there is even beauty in grief. God bless you!

    • Carolyn

      Thank you Tina! You put into words what I was feeling! You are a blessing to me with your posts!

    • Emily

      thank you for sharing Tina! it has been a month since my miscarriage, and it is still very fresh to me. A part of me finds it hard to accept God will help me because it feels like He didn’t when I asked Him to heal my baby. But you are right, I am certain I would not have made it through the last month without His constant comfort and help. As I head to my follow-up appt this morning, I will lift my eyes as you said and trust that God is sheltering me and guarding me in every step of this life.

    • Heather Legge

      Oh Tina. Thank you for sharing. My heart goes out to you.

  • Too much of what I sometimes believe about God is often driven by moments, days, when I allow outcomes and desires to determine what I believe. Feelings get in the way. Not long ago I was in a dark place mentally, and emotionally. I know that my “help comes from the Lord”… and I am so thankful for this reminder in scripture “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber” – I can testify now having come through the darkness to the relentlessness of our God for His children, for His creation. He does not rest, He does not weary, and thank the Lord for that! We serve a persistent and patient God.

    (I am also really enjoying the thoughtful questions in this study, there is much to be said for the opportunity to physically write out what we are learning instead of just reading through! Thank you SRT team!)

    • She Reads Truth

      Glad to have you studying with us, Terri! Thank you for the encouraging words this morning!

      – Stormye

  • This really comforts me. As a new nurse on orientation, I have this crippling fear of something terrible happening to my patients, so much so that I stay long hours after my shift ends, just to comb through documentation and make sure I covered all ground. I know I have to surrender and lay my burdens at the Lord’s feet, but it’s much easier said than done. Hoping for more comfort during this study :)

    • Stephanie

      After 25 years of being a nurse, I can honestly say I remember those days. And while you will continue to have them throughout your career as a nurse, allow God to come close and remind you that HE holds those you care for even closer than you can. Your hands are HIS hands, and everything you do for those in your care has the added benefit of the breath of God behind it. Pray for your patients, use your skills, trust what you’ve been trained to do. . . and at the end of the day, leave it in His hands. We are human, so don’t believe that you will never make a mistake. But God is there even in that.
      I do believe God has gone before me every single shift I have ever worked. And He has cared for me there just as He has cared for me in every other area of my life.
      Welcome to a wonderfully satisfying world where calling and career can meet and blend into one. It’s a very special place. :-)

      • Sarabeth

        Amen! Speaking as a fellow nurse, you hit the nail on the head. He will go before us and hold the patients in His hands. Pray for wisdom and guidance. And at the end of the day, give them over to Him. Even after years of being a nurse, it can be a struggle to do so.

      • Tricia C

        I agree. As another nurse here, and a type A personality, sometimes I try to do it all in by myself, thinking I can handle the stress and even the sadness myself. It’s so much easier to turn to my Rock, my comforter. To give it all to Him. I do pray that the Lord will guide my every decision. I pray that the words I say and the things I do at work and otherwise would bring him glory and that my patients, their families and my coworkers would see Jesus through me.
        To God be the glory.

      • Leah

        Thank you all for your kind words, sisters. May the Lord continue to bless the work of your very caring hands :)

  • Some weeks ago I asked for prayer for some stressful time at university (physics lab) because I struggle with focusing on God’s help when I have time pressure. I am very thankful, it was soo much better than last time! I could keep all deadlines for handing protocols in instead of being paralyzed because it’s too much! Especially the first week was amazing, I felt so alive, spent time with God, also when I was tired give it to him. I could even meet with two friends then and go to a great Easter conference in the end! I’m still blown away how God sometimes makes the times we worry about especially blessed!

    • Alexis

      Yes! I find as well the situations I dwell on the most He usually comes through in such a mighty way! Glad all worked out for you Regine and you got to have such a rich Easter Sunday!

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