Some Encouragement from Psalm 97

I love the way Psalm 97 ends:

For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.
Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
    for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
    and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light shines on the righteous
    and joy on the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
    and praise his holy name.

I notice that wonderful verb “guards” and the comfort it brings when things feel uncertain and scary as the fall academic semester begins—for me as a teacher, for my college daughter, and for my last daughter returning to high school.

I also focus on how God fills our heart with “light” and “joy.” What a wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit within us. As we walk with Jesus, we experience this light, this joy, and this Guarding Presence.

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