This psalm encourages to hope and trust in God; in His power and providence, and His gracious presence with His church in the worst of times. We may apply it to spiritual enemies, and the encouragement we have that, through Christ, we shall be conquerors over them. He is a Help, a present Help, a Help found, One we have found to be so; a Help at hand, one that is always near; we cannot desire a better, nor shall we ever find the like in any creature. Let those be troubled at the troubling of the waters, who build their confidence on a floating foundation; but let not those be alarmed who are led to the Rock, and there find firm footing. Here is joy to the church, even in sorrowful times.
The first nugget we find is an exhortation to hope and trust in God. You may be thinking that this is not any great revelation by Pastor Henry, but what is obvious does not always lend itself to obedience. If it were not so the Bible would not be full of exhortations to hope and trust in God. Here is an obvious but not often obeyed verse in the Bible:
â€œTrust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.â€ (Psalm 37:3)
Here is a simple formula for living a blessed life. David exhorts us to trust in Almighty God. Most times we do not; our first instinct is to trust ourselves. That is only natural, but remembering our sinful nature should keep us from doing that which is natural. That leads us to doing good.
By trusting in God we will experience good days, but that means we cannot do evil. When we settle for less than Godâ€™s good we do evil. When we in our own wisdom determine something good, such as choosing the lesser of two evils, we miss Godâ€™s best for us. And because we do this our dwelling in the land is not what it should be. Life gets much tougher than God intended. The worse part of this is the more we trust ourselves the more we dig ourselves into a hole. Our life, be it spiritual or physical, becomes famished because we are no longer feeding on Godâ€™s faithfulness. It is the proverbial vicious cycle.
I want to return to the notion of trusting in man instead of God. We Americans believe in rugged individualism, self-reliance, and a strong work ethic. All of these are great characteristics to have and have contributed directly to our prosperous nation. But at times, particularly in the church, it has been our Achilles heel in that weâ€™ve become accustomed to doing things on our own. The Bible cautions against this:
â€œIt is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.â€ (Psalm 118:8-9)
I know weâ€™ve been over this a number of times, including the above passage, but beloved things may indeed get much worse in our nation before they get better and I want us to have a strong shield to guard against the Enemyâ€™s arrows of panic. That strong shield is found only in Christ Jesus:
â€œYou who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.â€ (Psalm 115:11)
It is this shield that will help us overcome all obstacles life throws at us because we feed on His faithfulness. The great Christian philosopher Watchman Nee has rightly said:
A person who wholly follows the Lord is one who believes that the promises of God are trustworthy, that He is with His people, and that they are well able to overcome.
Dear friends, when we get to this point of overcoming we are relying on Godâ€™s power to see us through and resting in His providence when it comes to our future.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers