September 1, 2023

Seeking His Presence

Daily Devotional2 Minutes

“How lovely is Your tabernacle … My soul longs … for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God […] Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You.”—Psalm 84:1–2, 4

Johannes Brahms struggled to find the right words for the music he was writing. Then in February 1865, he received news that his mother was dying. Devastated, he could not reach her before she passed away.

Her death impacted Brahms in dramatic ways. Struggling with depression, he turned to the music he had been trying to finish. Although not a religious person, he found inspiration in the Bible, and the piece became his German Requiem. The first full performance took place on Good Friday 1868 at the Bremen Cathedral (in what today is western Germany). It was a resounding success.

The most moving moment was the fourth movement, “How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings.” This text inspired by Psalm 84 describes how wonderful it is to come into God’s presence where we find peace and rest. In his own way, Brahms invited listeners to focus on God. (This movement is often performed separately.)

One of the powerful things about this and other psalms is that they provide ways to express our deepest feelings. They can bring comfort when we need encouragement. Even a non-religious person like Brahms realized that he needed to focus on God, then he would find everything he needed in His presence.

Remember that God is with you. You can call on Him for whatever you need. Seek to enter His presence. Let Him take away every burden and worry. Worship Him.

Reflection Question: Write out the lyrics to your favorite worship song.

Prayer
Father, I long to be in Your presence. Fill me anew with Your Spirit. Give me Your peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Today's Bible Reading
Psalm 84

Prayer
Father, I long to be in Your presence. Fill me anew with Your Spirit. Give me Your peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Today's Bible Reading
Psalm 84