I was reading in Psalm 103 the other day and this response just flowed out like a devotional. I’m not trained in writing devotionals or in interpreting scripture, but I do honestly believe this message of being “crowned” with love and compassion came into my heart from God.
I think that reading the Bible can become just another thing to check off the list so easily. I know it does for me! Something I have started to do is to journal the verses that I am reading. I’ll read them in different versions or even listen to them being read in my Bible app and take notes on them! (nerd alert – I love doing this!)
Now, let’s dig in to some Truth, shall we?
Crowned with Love and Compassion
Psalm 103 1-5
Praise the Lord, Oh my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all his benefits – Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Reminding our soul to praise
We can learn so much from the Psalmist who is constantly reminding his soul to praise the Lord. How often do I have to remind myself to change my thinking from wallowing to praising?!
It’s so much easier to act in our flesh rather than the Spirit. Acting in the Spirit takes getting to know His voice, sitting at the feet of Jesus, and denying our self time and time again. It takes stillness and practice. It takes a shift in focus to act in the Spirit.
Reminding our soul to praise means letting gratitude drive us rather than letting our circumstances control our emotions. We have to focus on all that God has done in our lives and trust in all that He is going to do. He promises that He works things together for good for those who love Him. He promises that He has not called us without purpose and that He will complete the work He began in us. (Rom. 8:28, Phil. 1:6)
He forgives. He heals. He redeems. He crowns us. He satisfies our desires. He renews us.
The entire Bible, but the Psalms specifically, are full of all the ways God takes care of His people.
Redemption from the pit
He didn’t just save us from death because of our sin, He called us to be a part of His Kingdom work. 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life.” He didn’t see our sin and leave us to fail at figuring it out for ourselves. He charges us to live out a holy life of doing His good work.
He redeems our lives when he pulls us out of the pit we’ve fallen into. Your pit might be a secret sin, depression, self-injury, shame, crushing guilt, loss, sickness… No matter the circumstance, He is willing and able to lift you out and show you how to live a new life in Him.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
To redeem means to “compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something” and to “gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment.”
Both definitions are so incredibly powerful when we apply them to our relationship with Jesus. HE takes our bad stuff, our mess and covers it with His very self. Everything holy about Jesus, compensates for everything human about us.
When He redeems us, He covers our mess with His grace. When He gave His life for us He literally paid OUR dues for OUR sin. He did it so that He could get us back from the sin that so easily entangles us (Heb. 12:1).
He redeems us – constantly covers us with grace, constantly accepts us back into His arms when we finally turn towards Him instead of away from Him.
A charge from the King
But He doesn’t just redeem us when He pulls us out of the pit. The rest of verse 4 says that He then crowns us with love and compassion.
As daughters of Jesus, we are heirs in the Kingdom. We have roles to play. We aren’t just servants in His great house, which honestly would be more than we deserve. We are crowned and given a role in the Kingdom!
We are crowned with love and compassion.
When I read this verse, God gave me a picture of a loving King placing a beautiful crown of greenery gently on his daughters’ heads. He was smiling and gentle, yet I sensed a charge.
Just as a King’s crown symbolizes a great responsibility to care for his people, our crowns of love and compassion come with a responsibility as well.
Living with new responsibility
If you’ve seen any coronation, whether fictional or not, you’ve seen the person receiving their crown humbly accepting their new role and responsibility in a sacred ceremony.
We must accept our new role and responsibility as daughters of Jesus when we accept His call on our lives. First, to become daughters as we accept His gift of salvation and then as Kingdom-heirs as we receive our call and purpose.
This new responsibility is two-fold.
One, we must learn to live as crowned daughters. Women who have the Spirit of the living God within them. Women who are filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control. Women who exemplify love and compassion in every area of their lives.
The only way to do this is to lean into our Heavenly Father, our Abba, and ask Him “What’s next?”
But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! (Romans 8:9-17 MSG)
Leaving the pit for the Kingdom
The second part of our new responsibility is to leave our old life in the past and live out who we have been made to be. We have to leave the pit behind for the Kingdom.
Then we must share the precious gifts we’ve been given, carry out our calling of spreading His unconditional love and compassion to everyone He puts in our path. And EVERYONE has a place in the Kingdom.
If you’re in a pit, God is there. He is willing and able to pull you out. Call to Him and He promises to answer. (And especially if you are dealing with something as dark and gripping as depression, go to a counselor, a friend, a pastor and ask them to partner with you as you leave the pit for the Kingdom!)
If you’ve just been pulled up, know that your Savior didn’t save you for nothing. He has a purpose for you.
Accept your crown, daughter. Feel the love and compassion He has shown you, again and again, flow to the deepest parts of your soul.
Then live that out each day. Carry that love and compassion with you. Wear your crown proudly, showing the love and compassion the King gave you.
Abba Father, we cry out to you. Your Word is full of people calling out to you in sorrow, in desperation, in need, in praise and in good times and bad. You promise to answer when we call, Lord. So answer us now. You know our hearts and our struggles. We trust that you have done and will do good in our lives. We believe you when you say that you work all things together for our good. We praise you for redeeming us from death. We praise you for all the good things in our lives. Teach us to focus on all you’ve done and to not let our circumstances control us. We humbly accept our crowns, Lord. Help us to live in and live out Your love and compassion everywhere we go. We can’t wait to see all you do in and through us. We love you, Amen.
When I need to really get something to sink down deep into my soul, I need to see it alot. So, I created some encouraging lockscreens/phone backgrounds to remind me of the truths God is showing me. I wanted to share them with you, so just click the link below to head over to the resource library for your free lockscreens. (You will be asked to enter your password if you are a member of the Graceful Journey community already. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you’ll have an opportunity to do just that and then you’ll have access to all the freebies in the library!)
I hope this leaves you encouraged, and be sure to keep an eye out for the second post in this mini devotional series!
With love and compassion,