"Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love." - Psalm 147:1-11

Lent is a season in which we reflect on our need for Jesus. For 40 days, we give up things like Facebook and chocolate. It is a somber time, in which we tend to focus on our brokenness and our despair without Jesus. But in Lent there is a hope to be found—a hope that we are remiss to forget if we focus only inwardly on what we’ve gotten wrong.

This Psalm, like many Psalms, offers us a look at both sides of the coin—both the desperation and the hope. There are outcasts—and God gathers them up. We are brokenhearted—but God binds our broken hearts. The humble are lifted up. And God is pleased by our hope.

As we continue to enter deeper into this season, let us remember that when we fall down, God lifts us up. When we are hopeless, God gives us hope. Even though we walk through the darkness of the Lenten season, we walk toward The Great Light—Jesus Christ.

God, remind us not only of our need for you in our despair, but also of the great hope that is offered to us. Help us to allow your light to shine into the darkest corners of our lives. Bind up our broken hearts. Give us hope in the hopeless times. Take pleasure in the hope we find in your steadfast love. Amen.
Mar 8 2019