Archive for July, 2021

July 4, 2021: Learning to live in a state of dependence

July 4, 2021

On July 4, 2021, the Verse of the Day examines Psalm 33:12, but to understand more fully the position of the Lord God Almighty toward the nations of the world, take a look at Psalm 33:10-12 in the Amplified Bible:

The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He makes the thoughts and plans of the people ineffective.
11
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The thoughts and plans of His heart through all generations.
12
Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the nation whose God is the LORD,
The people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance.

On this Fourth of July, when so much that plagues our nation appears beyond our control, we not only celebrate our independence as a nation, but we also recognize more than ever our dependence upon God as well. This original psalm reinforces that same message:

Learning to Live in a State of Dependence

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed,

do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon]

His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:17 (Amplified Bible)

God’s promises never fail; we know the Word of God is true.                          

We learn to watch, fight, and pray, to be patient as we labor                               

We have no fear but faith for what God says about me and you.        

We taste the fullness of joy that He desires us to savor,            

As He lavishly displays His love with abundant favor.             

God, the righteous judge, avenges those who place their trust in Him          

And assures those who lean on Him He shall in nowise condemn.    

As we seek to keep His command to love God and our neighbor,      

The Word of God goes ahead as a plow to prepare fallow ground,                 

Fertile soil found in hearts that have been made pure with no pretense,

Where the Father’s precious seeds of faith will flourish and abound.

With God, we are learning to live in a state of dependence,

Where we are free to choose to serve, knowing we shall prevail.

Transient trials swiftly pass, but God’s promises never fail.                

During these presently turbulent times, never has there been a greater need for divine guidance and direction for the nation though prayer. The words of the spiritual continue to ring true, declaring, “There is trouble all over this world.” During such times of desperation and deepest need, our nation cries out to God.

O God our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come.
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home.

In “History Reflection for 4th of July: How Prayer Underpinned American Independence” Fr. Stephen Lynch, states, “Prayer played an important role in the American struggle for independence.” He goes on to relate a request that the meetings of the Continental Congress be opened with prayer. After considerable disagreement, the Congress agreed to have the Rev. Mr. Duche read a prayer. John Adams describes what transpired:

Accordingly, next morning the Rev. Duche appeared with his Episcopal vestments and read the 85th Psalm. I never saw a greater effect produced upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that psalm to be read on that morning.

George Washington was kneeling there, alongside him Patrick Henry, James Madison, and John Hancock. By their side there stood, bowed in reverence, the Puritan patriots of New England, who at that moment had reason to believe that an armed soldiery was wasting their humble households. They prayed fervently for America, for Congress, for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston [whose port had been closed and in which British troops were being quartered.

Lynch concludes by saying, “The First Continental Congress proved to be an inspiring example of the fraternal unity that can come through devout prayer.” Without question, the need to pray for our nation continues, being mindful of the words of Jesus Christ, who told his disciples “. . . it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.”

Our reflections on the 4th of July conclude, as Michael Card offers this song as a heartfelt prayer for the nation: “Heal our Land”: