March 16
For reading & meditation: Psalms 31:19-24
"In my alarm I said, 'I am cut off from your sight!' Yet you heard my cry for mercy '" (v.22)

Once the psalmist reached the place of utter abandonment before God there came into his heart an instant reassurance: "Yet I am always with you" (Psa. 73:23). Some translations put it like this: "Nevertheless I am continually with you". Personally I prefer the word "nevertheless" as it conjures up to my mind a movement in the soul of the psalmist that was vital to his spiritual recovery. He did not stop at the point of self-examination and turn in upon himself - he looked into the face of his heavenly Father and realised that he was accepted and loved. If we end at the point of self-examination and don't remember the next words, "Nevertheless I am continually with you," then we will stay locked into the negative feelings of guilt and self-condemnation. This is why I said earlier that self-examination must not be undertaken except in the presence of God. Many have spent time examining themselves, and because they have judged themselves to be worthless and useless, they have gone out and committed suicide. Am I talking to someone like that today? If so, put your foot on this next rung of the ladder and realise that although you may be feeling useless and worthless nevertheless you are still in the presence of God. He still permits you to come into His presence, even though you have forgotten His promises and misunderstood His ways. God does not cast you away. Let the wonder of this break afresh upon you today. Whatever has gone wrong in your life, confess it to Him and look into His face and say: "Nevertheless I am continually with you."

Father, how can I sufficiently thank You for giving me the right word at the right time? You knew how much I needed this today. It is a lifeline to my spirit. As I hold on to it let it bind me closer to You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. What was God's promise to Israel?
2. What is the assurance we have?