This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

I Lift Up My Eyes: A Study in Psalms - Book Five - A hiker on the top of a rocky mountain, with a pink and purple night sky. I Lift Up My Eyes: A Study in Psalms - Book Five - A hiker on the top of a rocky mountain, with a pink and purple night sky.

Daily Devotional | Can I Get a Witness?


When I was a child, our church held services on Sunday evening. The service had a unique element in it. Often, the pastor would ask if anyone would like to share how God had been at work in their life. Listening to respected adults share about God in such a personal way made a huge impact on me. They would tell of answered prayers or how God had comforted them during a troubled time.

Psalm 116 is a testimony. We do not know exactly what kind of trouble the Psalmist was facing, but he describes his desperate situation with great emotion, “The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow” (v. 3). Death seemed like a real possibility.

But when the Psalmist cried out to God for help, God answered. God was true to His character. The Psalmist rehearses the attributes of God from Exodus 34:6–7 (v. 5). In contrast to God’s faithfulness, people are often untrustworthy (v. 11). But God hears prayer and responds. God’s deliverance prompted the Psalmist to publicly proclaim what He had done (vv. 13–14).

In this context, verse 15 stands out as a bit odd. It says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.” You might say to yourself, “Didn’t he just pray for deliverance from death?” The word “precious” here is better understood as “costly.” That is, the Lord understands the cost to the community of faith when a believer dies. This is one of the reasons God spared him in this situation.

>> God may not always answer our prayers in the way we would want. When that happens, this psalm is a good reminder that God’s ways are higher than our own. Consider how you can let people know what the Lord has done, so their faith can be encouraged.

Pray with Us

Today we remember the ways Your plans have proven to be a blessing to us, even when we thought we needed something else. Remind us not to keep these things to ourselves, but to proclaim Your goodness to our fellow believers.

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month