Songs for the Road: The Psalms of Ascent: Day 19

Eternal Blessedness

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Today's Text: Psalm 134:1-3

Scripture Reading: Psalm 134

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 134 (CSB)
CALL TO EVENING WORSHIP
A song of ascents.

1 Now bless the LORD,
all you servants of the LORD
who stand in the LORD’s house at night!
2 Lift up your hands in the holy place
and bless the LORD!

3 May the LORD,
Maker of heaven and earth,
bless you from Zion.

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A Song of Invitation to Bless the Lord
The pilgrim-disciple invites the other pilgrim-disciples—people whose lives are a journey, but not without a guide—to bless the Lord, lifting holy hands in praise together.

This song is an invitation to bless God—to worship with one voice. We have come from all kinds of places, through all sorts of experiences, trials, joys, and sufferings, but we’re here now. Hear the invitation. Worship the Lord.

Reflect
1. How do you most often respond to invitations? Do you typically say yes or no when you’re invited to something unfamiliar? Why?

2. Where in your life are you looking at God’s instruction, like this invitation to worship, and wondering if it is really what you need? What fatherly commands has He given you that you turn away either because you don’t like them or don’t understand them?

3. What would it look like for you to say yes to the invitation offered in Psalm 134? Where and when should a person respond to this call to worship?

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  • If if I were to say yes to a specific invitation from God it would be laying down control. I like to plan things, I like to check all my boxes off in a nice orderly way. I like feeling like I’m managing my life well. But sometimes God might ask me to go a way I don’t understand or even harder, he might ask me to wait on something I’d planned. I’m pretty bad at waiting. I must recall “his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts higher than my thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9.) He knows best, I surrender control.

  • Praise and thanksgiving is sometimes all we can muster up to do when we are in the darkest valleys and it is what we must recall to do in these dark times or the enemy will take camp in our hearts. God will bless you with his peace, his strength and his love as we sing out to him.
    This is something that I’ve held close these last few months, even though the fog has been thick, still I have felt the comfort of my heavenly dad and he has been faithful.

  • Is there a Day 20? It’s not showing on my app

    • Christina

      It’s not showing up online either.

      • Lily

        There’s the usual Grace Day edition but it’s not showing up online. It is only showing up in the email if you’re subscribed.

  • Caroline

    I am so thankful for all the opportunities to say yes to worshiping Jesus! There is just nothing quite as fulfilling and life-giving!

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

  • Sadie Rose

    I have been in kind of a spiritual slump lately. It seems hard to follow God’s instructions for me. I seem to hesitate. I could use some prayer in this time of my life. I love this blog, and how welcome I feel to comment a prayer request. I love what everyone is doing for this site.

    • Emily B.

      Don’t be discouraged! And don’t be afraid to step out in faith! God won’t let you fall. :)

    • churchmouse

      Praying for you, Sadie. The Lord is faithful to answer when we cry out, no matter how hesitant the cry or weak the voice. When we are weak, then He is strong.

    • Cecilia

      Praying for you.

    • Nancy

      Praying for you Sadie Rose. We all have ups and downs in our spiritual walk and God patiently waits for us. Praying for you to boldly seek and accept His plan for you. You will be so blessed my sister.

  • Diane Huntsman

    I wonder why so often I feel defeated.. my neglect of sincere worship is the culprit.. there is fullness found and emptying oneself in Worship. We are always welcomed, but often a no show at His feet.

  • And I echo Churchmouse’s song right now. “when the darkness closes in Lord, Still I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord”.

  • I hesitated to comment as I always do not want to be the downer. Facing some challenging times and unexpected situation that cannot be fixed. My heart aches but I need to be strong i

    • Debbie

      Mari, I’m praying for God to give you strength and hold you in the comfort of His arms.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, sweet friend! So glad you shared. You are never a downer because of your need for prayer!

      – Stormye

      • Mari

        Thank you! It’s amazing how I felt incredible strength when I came to work.

        • SusieP

          So glad to hear you felt His love surround and strengthen you. Your post was a gentle reminder to me that it is only in our weakness that we find ourselves truly leaning on God. And that’s when the beauty begins! I’m lifting you up to Him.

  • Tricia C

    Praise Jesus! Thank you ladies for your encouragement! And thank you Lord for putting up with me! Have a blessed weekend ladies!

  • The psalm reads like a charge, a sending out of the pilgrim-disciple. Now, go pilgrim-disciple. Make your life a life[style] of worship. And as a reminder, such as the reminder given to the priestly watchmen who stand watch at night and who perform the charge given them, to couple your work with blessing the Lord. The more service, the more blessing and prayer is required; the more effort, the more worship and communion with God; so that, our life(style)’s worship is always for the Lord. It is a joy to receive a blessing from the Lord, now be a blessing.

  • The direction of blessing strikes me in this Psalm: 1. “bless the Lord” 2. “bless the Lord” 3. “the Lord bless you”

    It reminds me of Hosea 6, a chapter that has been important to me for a long time, particularly after a broken engagement (Hosea is chock full of the marriage metaphor with the Lord as husband). The chapter starts with an invitation to return and pursue the Lord, with a raw and real tone, not just warm, pink flowery cursive:

    “He has torn us, but he will heal us. He has wounded us, but he will bandage us.”

    By verse 3, it’s clear that I’m facing toward the Lord not because anything in our relationship starts with me, but out of the sureness that he is loyal, in spite of me:

    “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

    He is entirely in charge, but he is good. Hosea gets UGLY, but ends on chapter 14. I am insolent, rebellious, childish and deserving of divorce, but He promises loyalty and healing:

    “I will heal their apostasy,
    I will love them freely,
    For My anger has turned away from them.

    5I will be like the dew to Israel;
    He will blossom like the lily,
    And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon.

    6His shoots will sprout,
    And his beauty will be like the olive tree
    And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon.

    7Those who live in his shadow
    Will again raise grain,
    And they will blossom like the vine.

    So I respond to the invitation to bless because I KNOW that my God does not show me dead things he does not plan to resurrect.

    “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day…” (Hosea 6:2)

    Hmmm, that sounds familiar…

  • Tochi Heredia

    I feel convicted and moved to repentance.
    I’ve let my anxiety and chronic pain take over my life. I have neglected my church, my community and my place in corporate worship.

    Now, I’m asking for forgiveness and strength to get out of my bubble and step into worship.
    I’m again going to several doctors to try to get a proper diagnosis, and they all say the same so far: we might not now what is going on with you yet, but you need to find a healthy balance in your life. And oh, how I long for balance and fullness. I want put myself aside and worship God with others.
    I have no idea how to achieve this with the way I’m currently feeling. Father, heal me and teach me to be a worshipper in Truth and Spirit, help me to be a better pilgrim-disciple.

    • Gema Muniz

      God calls us to bless him not only during good times but at all times. I understand the struggle of finding balance between the daily things and separating the time for God. I personally struggle with that area and know is difficult to do it every day, but whenever I do come to him I worship him with all my heart. Don’t let your disease be an obstacle for you to worship God, let it be the reason for you to worship God. The doctors may not be able to give you a proper diagnosis, but God is our doctor and he already knows what the cure is. He is just asking you to come to him and worship him. Let it be your victory song and let this difficult situation be the one to strengthen your faith and bring you closer to God. God bless you sister.

    • Leah Spencer

      That happened to me. I turned back to God and he opened every single door and lead me to an answer what was wrong with me. It took 2 1/2 years for the answer. I just had surgery in march for it. I had something called MALS
      It’s very rare. Prayers. It caused horrid pain

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying balance and fullness over you, sweet Tochi. So grateful for your continued updates. Asking the Lord to give the doctors a clear diagnosis for you so that you can have clarity and peace.

      – Stormye

  • Thank you for all the encouragement this morning, sisters…much needed. Prayers for our community and praise to our King

  • Katalina

    I used to feel ashamed because I was never the “active worshipper” where I would throw my hands in the air, dance or praise Him like I feel He would want. I’m a little more reserved, singing quietly to myself, listening to worship songs on my own, etc. i used to feel like I was disappointed Him (sometimes wondering the same thing now)… but then I thought, everyone has their own way to show God they love Him and mine is my relationship with Him. The conversations I have with Him make me feel like He’s sitting right next to me. What I have with Him is different than what others may have and even though I have a lot to learn, I know I praise Him in my own way. Throughout that time and even now, He’s changed me in ways that are unbelievable. I am so grateful for our relationship and that He has chosen me just as He has chosen all of you :)

    • Emily

      I love this Katalina! I am definitely more reserved when it comes to worship as well. We all have our different gifts, and the Lord wants us to use these to worship him. What a great reminder!

    • Wildflower

      I love this as well! I have often felt the same as you.

  • Sandy W.

    I am so grateful for the blessed privilege to worship such a Mighty Awesome God. It isn’t always easy when the storms of life surround us. But I do serve the one that walks on water and when I am weak, He is strong. Praise His Holy Name!

  • candacejo

    Like Churchmouse, I went through a similar experience several years ago. My heart hurt so badly that I didn’t want to go to church at all but I did. And I decided if I was going that all I was going to do was offer up praise and worship. For weeks and months I poured myself into worship and praised my way out of the storm. Circumstances didn’t change but I did!! He is always there, giving strength and encouragement, and most of all, that peace that truly passes our limited and earthly understanding. Be strong, be courageous and give God the glory, He will give you the victory!

  • churchmouse

    I remember sitting in my church serveral years ago, trying to hold back tears. My heart was shattered. No, I felt eviscerated. Going to church to worship was nothing more than habit that morning. There was no anticipation of receiving anything from God. I just showed up. The opening song was this one:

    Blessed be Your name
    In the land that is plentiful
    Where Your streams of abundance flow.
    Blessed be Your name.
    Blessed be Your name
    When I’m found in the desert place,
    Though I walk through the wilderness,
    Blessed be Your name.

    (chorus)
    Every blessing You pour out,
    I’ll turn back to praise.
    When the darkness closes in, Lord,
    Still I will say
    Blessed be the name of the Lord.
    Blessed be Your name.
    Blessed be the name on the Lord.
    Blessed be Your glorious name.

    Blessed be Your name
    When the sun’s shining down on me,
    When the world’s all ‘as it should be’
    Blessed be Your name.
    Blessed be your name
    In the road marked with suffering,
    Though there’s pain in the offering,
    Blessed be Your name.
    (repeat chorus)

    I learned that day what it was to offer a sacrifice of praise. My feelings certainly felt otherwise. But He was there, speaking to me in that song, drawing me to Himself. I didn’t understand my situation and my heart was still broken. But God… He was challenging me to trust Him still. To trust in His goodness. To trust His way. That morning I just showed up. And He did too. He was Who I needed. Oh the following days stretched in to years before I ‘felt’ better but there was this joy that took root that morning. A small spark was kindled. And it went deep and has burned hot and long now. Dear sisters, turn your eyes upon Jesus. We are on a treacherous journey. There are strong forces set against us. But we have Someone who leads us who is invincible! He leads us through every battle. Let us offer up a sacrifice of praise in the midst of it all. We will march through together. Let this song be our anthem.

  • Lifting my hands in total Praise to the One who holds my life and all my ‘sorts’ in His hands…
    Lord you are worthy..
    Lord you are wonderful..
    There is no one else like you,
    Ever faithful,
    Ever true..all my life, my heart, my all, is a testament to you..
    (Words borrowed from Donnie McCullkin)
    Lifting my hands in Praise Lord God…
    Thank you..
    Amen.

    Thanking God for you guys this wet and dull day.. .
    Be blessed in all you do, whatever that looks like..
    Love. Love. Love…xx

  • songbird

    “We’ve come from all sorts of … trials and sufferings”
    Well, I have. After quite some struggles, my relationship is over now. I’ve lost all hopes (again) ever to find love in my life and be able to start a family (I’m not that young anymore and well, how often do I REALLY match with someone?)
    We both knew what was needed to make the relationship work, but we didn’t manage to create that. How sad.
    And strangely (or isn’t that so strange) enough, I feel more anger towards God (what have I done that I don’t just get a stable relationship just like my friends? Why do guys always have to meet their (future) wife after they ‘tried out’ with me?) than towards the one who hurts me so.
    And feeling lonely makes me a less pleasant person around others – family, people at work, I nag a lot more and can even become quite unreasonable. Why cannot God give me what I need to flourish IN ORDER TO BE a more beautiful Christian??
    I really needed to vent. Also after late yeaterday I read all these beautiful things about unity while I feel cut off.

    • Alice Carroll

      Dear songbird,
      Have a look at day 17 and read the first comment. That’s me. I hear you. It stinks. It feels like from what you say that this is very raw. Give yourself time to grieve for what might have been. When you can, remember the Lord. Remember that from Him flows true life, and that nothing else gives life in the same way. I think having a baby will make me happy; I often think a new dress will do the same to a lesser extent. But really neither of these or anything else can truly satisfy when we are made to love Him. Sending my love and prayers.

    • Tina

      Songbird, I am so very sorry for your woes… I am sorry your heart hurts, for the things that you dreamed of that haven’t come to fruition… yet.
      You know, it is okay to be angry with God… because whilst you are cross with Him, I think, you still have a relationship with Him… (the saying is we take things out on the ones we love the most… Right.. )
      I have lost all hopes (again).. you write… that suggests to me, there have been times before… why then should there not be more to come, there is hope for yet another time, place, future for you.. your story is not over… your story continues, for now through the heartbreak of this season…
      But God..
      Psalm 30 comes to mind… the whole Psalm is precious but verses 5b … tears May flow in the night…but joy comes in the morning… these words have sustained me in days not dissimilar to yours right now…
      Until one day, you will look back and sing these words further on in Psalm 30..
      You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy.
      So I will not be silent; I will sing praise to you, Lord my God, I will give thanks for ever…
      That day is coming.. hold fast to Him like you’ve never done before Songbird… He is with you through this..
      Your story is not finished. Trust Him.
      Praying peace of heart for you today, tomorrow, and days to come…
      Sending love wrapped hugs to you dear heart…xx

      • truthseeker

        Yes, the words of Psalm 30 5b have kept me many times from ending it all during the very long very dark times. Just hang in until the morning. The light of the sun is nothing compared to the Light of the Son. His mercies are new every morning. Thank you Tina for reminding us of this hope.

    • Caitie

      Songbird, I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through. I went through a similar situation and was so angry with God. I wanted my life to be exactly as I planned it. After all…having a husband and kids is a good plan! but being so stuck on it was making me unpleasant as well because it just wasn’t working. After yelling at God one night, I exhaustedly threw my hands up at God and said “fine…if you really think you have something better for me, then have at it. Take away my relationship I’m trying to force and let your will be done.” I think I said it with such attitude and with disbelief…but he heard me. It wasn’t long before he reshaped my life and my attitude. I’m not living the way (or where!) I expected to be, but it is so much better. I know my life now is a true gift from him. And if I didn’t go through that mess, I wouldn’t have understood that it was truly a gift from Him. Songbird, all of our lives are very different and I don’t know what God has in store for you. But I know that if you give your worries and plans to him, he will do something better than you could have imagined. Praying for you!

    • Katalina

      Sweet Songbird,
      This is a verse that my mom always recites to me when things may not go the way I want or when I’m in a tough situations —
      And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose- Romans 8:28
      I don’t know what you’ve been through but I know you’ve been through your own trials and it hasn’t been easy. I used to possess the same anger towards God and everyone else around me. But don’t give up hope. Things may not be the way you expected but God is filled with the unexpected. Have faith that He has a purpose for you but remember that it’s in His time and that He loves you. He knows the desires of your heart and wants to please you just as you should please Him. Keep those prayers strong and those dreams alive because He never forgets or turns away. I’m sorry for you hurting heart but know I am praying for you ❤️

    • Emily B.

      As some of the other ladies have said, God can handle your anger. He’s not going to give up on you or change how He feels about you because you’re upset with Him or the situation you’re in. I find myself stuck on what you wrote about God giving you what you need–is this something you’ve prayed about? I’ve found that there are a lot of times when I’ve been so sure I need something only to discover that it’s a misplaced desire. You might think you need it, but God knows best. He’ll give you what you truly need, whether it’s what you expect or not. And most of the time, the unexpected things are so much better than what we’ve decided will make us happy/complete. If what you think you need really is what God wants for you, then you can be confident that you’ll get it, just in His timing.

    • Meg

      Songbird,
      How brave of you to speak of your true feelings and frustrations, especially towards God. We get caught up in a religious culture so often that tells us that being angry with God is unacceptable. How you are feeling is justifiable. Anger is part of the human experience. How you direct it and what you do with that is the next step. It’s a journey, and not an easy one. But the Lord sees your pain and your deliverance is coming. That is His promise and He will stand on it. Christ didn’t sacrifice his perfect life for you to live a non-blessed life. Send up worship and praises for what you do have and enjoy; the rest will follow. You’re on my heart, and many other ladies’ here.

    • She Reads Truth

      Sweet friend, please know we are praying for you. So glad that you took today to vent and let us know how to lift you up to the Father. These times of hurt and anger towards God are confusing but I’m asking Him to draw you near despite your feelings and to make you feel hopeful and secure in His love. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

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