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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

A Journey with Jesus

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84: 5-7

Nestled in the middle of the Psalms are three verses that describe the blessed life of a believer. If someone asked me to describe a believer’s life, I could ramble on for hours, perhaps days. Yet, in three short sentences this psalmist does a good job of hitting the highlights. He describes the believer’s heart, strength, difficulty, impact, and future.

Today, our focus will be on the psalmist’s description of a believer’s heart. Blessed are those…who have set their hearts on pilgrimage (Psalm 84:5). In other words, blessed are those who have a longing in their souls and a determination in their minds to journey through life with Jesus.

None of us were born with this longing to follow Jesus. Ephesians 2 says all were born with a desire to follow the ways of the world and its ruler. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:4). God Himself awakens within each of us the desire to seek Jesus and know Him. This act of God’s grace starts the heart of every believer beating for Jesus.

God then sets our hearts on pilgrimage. He awakens the desire to follow Jesus.
Following Jesus is not easy. It requires denying self and taking up a cross daily. (Luke 9:23) But those who follow Jesus discover this truth: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (I Corinthians 2:9).

Friend, is your heart set on pilgrimage? Draw near to Jesus, and you will discover abiding joy and soul satisfaction that can be found in no other.

Lord, keep our hearts set on journeying through life with You. Amen.

Jan Burkhart

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