Yet I Will Praise Him

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10 I said, In the middle of my days
    I must depart;
I am consigned to the gates of Sheol
    for the rest of my years.
11 I said, I shall not see the Lord,
    the Lord in the land of the living;
I shall look on man no more
    among the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
    like a shepherd’s tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
    he cuts me off from the loom;
from day to night you bring me to an end;
13     I calmed myself until morning;
like a lion he breaks all my bones;
    from day to night you bring me to an end.

14 Like a swallow or a crane I chirp;
    I moan like a dove.
My eyes are weary with looking upward.
    O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety!
15 What shall I say? For he has spoken to me,
    and he himself has done it.
I walk slowly all my years
    because of the bitterness of my soul.

16 O Lord, by these things men live,
    and in all these is the life of my spirit.
    Oh restore me to health and make me live!
17 Behold, it was for my welfare
    that I had great bitterness;
but in love you have delivered my life
    from the pit of destruction,
for you have cast all my sins
    behind your back.
18 For Sheol does not thank you;
    death does not praise you;
those who go down to the pit do not hope
    for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living, he thanks you,
    as I do this day;
the father makes known to the children
    your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,
    and we will play my music on stringed instruments
all the days of our lives,
    at the house of the Lord.

21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.” 22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?” – Isaiah 38:9-21 ESV

Hezekiah had been severely ill, and the prophet Isaiah had given him the divine prognosis that his illness would end in death. In his despair, Hezekiah prayed to God and received the news that he would be healed and his life would be extended an additional 15 years. The book of 2 Kings provides additional details concerning Hezekiah’s miraculous recovery.

Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered! – 2 Kings 20:7 NLT

Sometime after these events, Hezekiah composed a poem commemorating the occasion and recording the diverse range of emotions he had experienced.

Hezekiah had been rocked by the news of his pending death. It was unexpected and had caught him completely by surprise. Like anyone facing the prospect of an untimely death, Hezekiah thought about all those he would leave behind.

“Never again will I see the Lord God
    while still in the land of the living.
Never again will I see my friends
    or be with those who live in this world.” – Isaiah 38:11 NLT

He couldn’t help but feel that he was being robbed of life, and denied the joy of experiencing all the pleasures that come to the living. Like all men, he had a difficult time imagining what existence beyond death might look like. He refers to his soul being confined to Sheol, the abode of the dead. The ancient Jews did not have a well-developed understanding of the afterlife. Their concept of the blessings of God was closely tied to life on this side of death, not beyond it. Which led Hezekiah to wonder whether his premature death was the result of his own sin. He couldn’t help but consider that he had somehow displeased God and his terminal illness was a form of divine punishment. For the Jews, disease was viewed as a sign of God’s displeasure. The apostle John records a scene from the life of Jesus that reflects this common misperception.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” – John 9:1-2 NLT

The disciples were reflecting the commonly held view that blindness was a curse, not a blessing. So, this man or his parents must have done something that angered God and brought about his blindness.

Hezekiah shared this mindset and saw his illness as a curse from God. Which led Hezekiah to pray incessantly, his voice sounding like the coos of a dove as he moaned out his pleas for God’s mercy. And yet, he somehow believed that his calls for healing would be ineffectual.

“But what could I say?
    For he himself sent this sickness.
Now I will walk humbly throughout my years
    because of this anguish I have felt.” – Isaiah 38:15 NLT

His illness was God’s doing, and there was nothing he could do about it. But his poem takes a dramatic turn at this point. Suddenly, Hezekiah begins to reflect his gratefulness for the dark night of the soul he experienced.

“Lord, your discipline is good,
    for it leads to life and health.
You restore my health
    and allow me to live!
Yes, this anguish was good for me,
    for you have rescued me from death
    and forgiven all my sins.” – Isaiah 38:15-17 NLT

God provided healing and the assurance that his life would be extended another 15 years. Hezekiah’s sorrow was immediately replaced with joy. His despair was replaced with delight in God’s mercy and unmerited favor. God was allowing him to live and, not only that, forgiving his sins in the process. Because Hezekiah believed his illness was the result of sin, his healing could only have happened if God forgave his sin.

You can sense Hezekiah’s rather earth-bound and limited view of life and the afterlife. From his human perspective, life was essential if one were going to praise God.

“For the dead cannot praise you;
    they cannot raise their voices in praise.
Those who go down to the grave
    can no longer hope in your faithfulness.” – Isaiah 38:18 NLT

He shared the commonly-held view that this life was where God’s blessings were to be enjoyed and where our devotion to God was to be displayed. You see this mindset reflected in the psalms.

The heavens belong to the Lord,
    but he has given the earth to all humanity.
The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord,
    for they have gone into the silence of the grave. – Psalm 115:16-17 NLT

Even King David had shared this view of life and death.

Return, O Lord, and rescue me.
    Save me because of your unfailing love.
For the dead do not remember you.
    Who can praise you from the grave? – Psalm 6:4-5 NLT

From Hezekiah’s perspective, long life provided an opportunity to praise God. “Only the living can praise you as I do today” (Isaiah 38:19 NLT). And he intended to take advantage of every single moment God was going to give him on this earth.

I will sing his praises with instruments
every day of my life
    in the Temple of the Lord.” – Isaiah 38:20 NLT

Hezekiah’s desire to spend his remaining years praising God is commendable. His ecstatic reaction to the news of his healing is natural and normal. He had been facing certain death and, suddenly, he had been given a new lease on life. In the excitement of the moment, Hezekiah expressed his desire to repay God by dedicating his life to the praise and glory of God. And again, this reaction by Hezekiah is commendable, but it raises some unavoidable questions: Are we only willing to praise God when He gives us the desires of our heart? Had God not chosen to heal Hezekiah, would the king have praised the Almighty anyway? Would he have accepted the will of God even when it seemed to contradict his own human understanding of what it means to be blessed by God?

The prophet Habakkuk provides us with a much more balanced illustration of how we, as humans, should understand and respond to the seeming incongruities of life.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! – Habakkuk 3:17-18 NLT

The apostle Paul shared this same viewpoint, declaring to the believers in Rome that, even in the face of trials and troubles, we have ample reason to praise God.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. – Roman 5:3-5 NLT

In Hezekiah, we have reflected a similar but significantly different sentiment.

Lord, your discipline is good,
    for it leads to life and health.
You restore my health
    and allow me to live! – Isaiah 38:16 NLT

The question is whether we, as those who believe in the sovereignty of God, are willing to accept both the good and the bad of life as coming through His hands. It was right for Hezekiah to rejoice in God’s healing. It was appropriate for him to respond with praise and adoration at his miraculous restoration by God. But the fact is, God does not always heal. Things do not always turn out for the better. Those with terminal illnesses do not always receive an additional 15-years of life. But those facts do not alter the goodness of God. They do not do anything to diminish the divine sovereignty of God. In our greatest moments of darkness and despair, our attitude should be that of Job who, when facing the loss of all that he had, was able to say:

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” – Job 2:10 NLT

Praising God in the good times is easy. Praising Him the difficult times requires faith and a strong belief that His will is always right and His plan, while not always clear to us, has our best interest in mind.

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

 

 

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Worthy of Praise.

Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me! – Psalm 66:20 ESV

Have you ever stopped to consider the unbelievable reality that God hears your prayers? Not only does He hear them, He answers them. Maybe not in the way you would like or were expecting, and perhaps not on the schedule you were hoping for, but He always answers. But the even more amazing fact is that God hears our prayers to begin with. Think about that. Why should He? What have we done to deserve the attention of the holy, righteous, sinless God who created the entire universe. He is the one who made us and yet we have returned the gift of His creation with sin, rejection of His authority, indifference to His Word, and a constant love for creation instead of the Creator. So why does He listen? Because for those of us who are in Christ, He sees us as righteous because of the sacrificial blood of His Son. God no longer sees us as rebellious sinners, but as saints, sons and daughters. We are His children and, as a good Father, He listens to our calls for help, our pleas for direction, and our cries for mercy. The psalmist praised God because his prayers had not been rejected. He praised the fact that God was still in love with him in spite of him. He was able to say, “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer” (Psalm 66:19 ESV). 

The sad fact is that we take that reality for granted. God listens to our prayers and the unbelievable nature of that thought doesn’t even seem to register with us. God chooses to hear me when I call out to Him. Not because I deserve it, but because His Son has paid the price for my sins so that I can come into the very presence of God the Father with no fear of condemnation or rejection. He hears me and He listens to me as His child. He loves me and answers me like a loving Father would one of His children. And I take it for granted. So do you. We have given God plenty of good reasons to reject our prayers and ample cause for Him to fall out of love with us. But He continues to hear and listen to us. He continues to love us unconditionally and unwaveringly. So why don’t we praise Him more? David did. He got it. He appreciated God’s love and the fact that He heard his prayers. Read the following words of David and ask yourself when was the last time you felt the same way.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things. – Psalm 103:1-5 NLT

God hears you. He answers you. He loves you. So why doesn’t that amaze you? Why doesn’t that produce an attitude of gratitude and praise in you? If you’re anything like me, it is probably because we don’t pray and truly believe He hears us or answers us. Or it could be that we pray and then fail to recognize His answers when they come. David said, “He fills my life with good things.” We have lost the sense of God’s goodness in our lives. We no longer see all the good things that He is doing in our lives every day. Instead, we have boiled down the proof of His activity in our lives to the list of things we ask of Him and expect Him to deliver. We are like a child who wants a new bike, but fails to appreciate the bed in which he sleeps, the food he eats, the clothes he wears, and the room full of toys he already enjoys. We want and demand more from God, while failing to appreciate and show gratitude for all He has already done. God is worthy of our praise – all the time. The very fact that He hears us when we pray and loves us even when we sin, should amaze and astound us. It should produce in us an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. Our attitude should be that of David. “Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!’” (Psalm 66:1-3 NLT). Praise Him. Not because of what you are waiting for Him to do for you, but for the very fact that He loves you enough to hear you when you call. Praise Him for all He has already done. Praise Him because He provided His own son as a sacrifice for your sins and has made it possible for you to enjoy a relationship with Him, free from fear and condemnation. He is worthy of our praise. So let us praise Him. Shout for joy to the Lord. Sing His praises. Let Him know just how grateful you are that He hears you and loves you.

Devoted to Prayer.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. – Colossians 4:2 ESV

This short, simple verse carries a key to having a more effective prayer life. Prayer requires devotion. It takes a level of commitment that many of us seem to lack. We tend to treat prayer as a spiritual add-on, an extracurricular exercise that is somehow optional, and not required. We pray when we have a pressing need. We pray when it’s convenient. We pray when others are watching or listening. But for many of us, our prayer lives lack commitment. In his letter to the believers living in Colossae, Paul encouraged them to devote themselves to prayer. The Greek word he used was proskartereō and it means, “to give one’s self continually, to continue steadfastly, to persevere and not to faint.” It carries the idea of doing something with diligence and determination. It is not a passive word, but an active one. Paul used the same word in his letter to the believers in Rome. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12 ESV). 

Prayer requires determination. It demands persistence. Notice that in his words of encouragement to the believers in Rome he combined hope and patience with steadfastness in prayer. There is a need for a kind of stick-to-it-ness when it comes to prayer. Some of us pray, then give up when we don’t get what we want. We pray and if we don’t get what we want when we want it, we stop. But Paul would have us devote ourselves to prayer. He would have us keep on praying, regardless of what happens, because we don’t know what God is doing behind the scenes. We can’t see the future. We can’t know the outcome.

That’s why he tells us to be alert. The Greek word he used is grēgoreō and it means “to watch, be vigilant, stay alert and awake.” It would seem that Paul wants us to pray with an air of expectation. And a heart of thanksgiving, even before we get the answer to our prayer. In other words, we are to thank God for what He is going to do even before He does it, because He is faithful and trustworthy. He may not do exactly what we ask, but He will do what needs to be done. He will always do what is best for us. To fail to pray is to fail to trust God. It conveys an independence from God and an attitude of self-sufficiency. Prayer at its core is an expression of need. It is an act of dependence that illustrates a willing submission to God’s plan for our lives.

Prayer is a privilege afforded to us by Christ’s death on the cross. His payment for our sins has made it possible for us to come into God’s presence through prayer. We can come before Him at any time and from any place through the simple act of prayer. We can tell Him our needs. We can praise Him for His love, grace and mercy. We can express our fears, share our doubts, unload our problems, and confess our sins. We can ask Him for wisdom, help, encouragement, strength, healing, power, or patience. Our prayers can be long or short. They can be eloquent or little more than a moan of anguish. But He always hears us. His Holy Spirit takes our most confusing prayers and turns them into words that align with the very will of God.

But we must be persistent. We must persevere. We must not lose heart. Prayer is our connection with God. It keeps us in tune with Him. It reminds us of how much we need Him. There are no shortage of things for which to pray. There are those around us who need our prayers. There are situations taking place each and every day that demand our prayers. Taking all these things to God is a way of showing Him just how much we need Him. It is a way of letting Him know how much we long to see His power displayed in our world. When we pray, we are asking God to step in and do what only He can do. When we fail to pray, it means we are going to try to be our own god, our own savior. Devotion to pray is nothing more than devotion to God. Praying is another way of trusting. That is why Paul told the believers in Philippi, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV). Pray diligently. Pray expectantly. Pray thankfully.

Delivered. Transferred. Redeemed. Forgiven.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:13-14 ESV

Colossians 1:9-14

Those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior can be some of the most ungrateful people on the planet. For all that God has done for us, we can easily find ourselves taking it all for granted. It is so easy to treat our salvation with a certain degree of complacency. If we’re not careful, our status as God’s redeemed ones can lose its wonder. The reality of our forgiveness from sin – all sin – can lose its overwhelming significance. And Paul knew that, which is why he prayed that we would have God’s power in our lives and experience the joy of His presence. He knew that, while our initial salvation was important, our ongoing sanctification was just as crucial to our relationship with God. We are to grow in our knowledge of God. While salvation introduced us to the God from whom we were alienated due to our sin, it was not to stop there. We are to “grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2 ESV). We are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 ESV). And that happens only as we are “filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9 ESV). It is the knowledge of God’s will that allows us to live in such a way that pleases Him. It is what produces fruit in our lives and allows us to know God better and better. And that growing knowledge of God produces joy and an attitude of gratitude for all He has done. For most of us, the length of time between our salvation and our ultimate glorification, when we will see God face to face, is going to be relatively long. It is in the space which some have called the “gospel gap” that we must be careful. We must never lose sight of the fact that God has qualified us “to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12 ESV). He has literally “rendered us fit” for glory. We have all we need to get into heaven, right now. We have all we need to come into His presence, at any time. We have Christ’s righteousness. There is nothing more we need to do, except grow in our knowledge of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Here’s the part Paul does not want us to miss: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” It’s a done deal. He has delivered us. He has transferred us. He has redeemed and forgiven us. That reality should produce in us an overwhelming sense of gratefulness. He has done for us what we could have never done for ourselves. I think that is what it means to “grow up into salvation.” The longer we spend time on this earth as believers, the greater our appreciation for what God has done for us should grow. As we grow in our knowledge of God, we also grow in the awareness of our own weakness and propensity to sin. We should see our sin in stark contrast to His holiness and be increasingly amazed that He has delivered, transferred, redeemed and forgiven us. We didn’t deserve it. We haven’t earned it. We could never repay Him for it. But we can be thankful and ever mindful of what He has done. We can remember the unbelievable gift He has provided through the death of His Son on our behalf. We can also live our lives with a sense of peace, knowing that our future is secured. We can know beyond a shadow of a doubt “that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 NLT).

We have been delivered, transferred, redeemed and forgiven. God has done all that for us. Jesus Christ made it possible for us. And the reality of it should never be taken for granted by us. Every time we struggle with sin, we must remind ourselves that we have been delivered from the domain of darkness. We are no longer slaves to sin. Every time we feel like this world is our home, we must remind ourselves that we have been transferred into the Kingdom of His Son. We are citizens of another realm. Every time we feel the need to earn favor with God and pay Him back for our sins, we must remind ourselves that He has already redeemed us with the blood of His own Son. Each and every time we sin we must remind ourselves that we are already forgiven. That sin has been paid for. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. All we have to do is confess it and enjoy the forgiveness that has already been made available to us. Confession doesn’t earn us forgiveness, it simply allows us to take advantage of the it. All of this should amaze us. It should constantly astound us. It should never be treated complacently by us. “Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault” (Colossians 1:22 NLT).

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

God’s Will – Part 2.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Earlier in his letter, Paul had told the Thessalonian believers that it was God’s will for them to be holy. then he gave them a practical example of what that kind of life looked like. They were to avoid sexual sin at all costs. They were to control their own lustful passions and live holy lives, not impure lives. They were to love and honor one another. They were to live their lives in such a way that they honored and pleased God. And now, at the close of his letter, Paul gives them another practical application of what a holy life looks like – a life that reflects God’s will for all believers. It is a life marked by joy. Not a giddy, unstable happiness based on changing circumstances, but a deep joy that is founded on the knowledge that we have a right relationship with God, our sins forgiven, our eternity secure and a God who loves us so much that there is nothing we can do that would ever cause Him to fall out of love for us. He is constantly out for our best interests and our circumstances, whether good or bad, are not an indicator of God’s love for us. His love is expressed in our spiritual transformation, that was made possible by His Son’s death on the cross. And that transformation is ALWAYS taking place within us, because of the indwelling presence of His Spirit. Which should bring us joy.

We are to pray without ceasing. In other words, prayer should be a constant part of our lives because God is a constant part of our lives. Prayer is not just petition, or asking God for things. It is also expressions of thanksgiving and praise. Prayer is the intimate communication between the Father and His child. And He wants to hear from us as much as we want to hear from Him. Prayer includes spending time listening to God, which is difficult, because we can’t hear His voice audibly or out loud. He speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit. God is always speaking to us, but the problem is that we seldom take time to listen. So we are to pray or communicate with Him constantly, unceasingly.

And we are to live lives that are marked by thankfulness – not just for the good things that happen in our lives – but even for the trials and difficulties. Why? Because as believers, we should know that God is at work in our lives at ALL times, using even the difficulties of life to transform us into the likeness of His Son. And we can live our lives with the assurance that He ALWAYS loves us – at all times – even when our circumstances seem to shout otherwise. And we can be thankful for that love and express our gratitude back to Him. None of this comes naturally. It isn’t a normal reaction for most of us, because it runs contrary to our sinful nature. We are wired to complain, not express thanks. We are prone toward dissatisfaction and discontentment, not gratefulness. Prayer is the ultimate expression of dependence on God, and we tend to be far too independent to have to rely on God. And since joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and not a byproduct of our human nature, it must be produced by the Spirit in our life. We can’t manufacture it or even fake it well. As we live in tune with and in obedience to the Spirit, He produces within us a joy that goes far beyond mere happiness. It is not based on circumstances, but on the certainty of God love for us.

God’s will for us is that we live holy live. But holy lives are practical lives. And ultimately, Paul tells us, God must make us holy. That is his prayer for the Thessalonian believers and, by extension, his prayer for us. “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every Way and make your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NLT). It is not only God’s will that we be holy. It is His mission. And one day He will complete that mission. There is a day coming when our holiness will be complete. Sin will be eradicated. Our transformation into the likeness of Christ will be finalized. We will be holy and blameless, because God is faithful and true.

Father, our holiness is of great importance to You, so it should be of great importance to us. Not that we should try to make ourselves holy, but that we should see it as our highest priority. We should view the circumstances of life as Your laboratory in which You are refining and perfecting us. You are always at work within and around us. Your ultimate goal is not our temporary happiness, but our eternal holiness. Give us that divine perspective. Help us to see our lives from Your viewpoint and with Your ultimate goal for us in mind. Amen.

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org

Psalm 108 – Day 1

Well-Placed Confidence.

“My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart.” – Psalm 108:1 NLT

David is ready. He is prepared to face anything. He is strong and confident. Why? Because of God. This is not a case of self-confidence, but David’s confession that his hope and trust are in God alone. He knows that with God’s help he can face any situation with confidence and peace. He says, “With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes” (Psalm 1087:13 NLT). There is no enemy too powerful or problem too big for God. David has learned that fearing is futile and pointless when God is on your side. Trying to take matters into your own hands is ridiculous when you have the God of the universe fighting for you. David’s awareness of this fact causes him to sing God’s praises. He can’t help but express gratefulness for God’s unfailing love and faithfulness. He has seen it in the past and he is confident that he will see it in the future, all because of what he knows about God’s unchanging nature. God has promised to rescue His people “by His holiness” (Psalm 108:7 NLT). His very character assures that He will do what He has promised to do. He will come through. He will answer.

But in the midst of the storm it is easy to forget that God is faithful. When surrounded by trouble, it is tempting to doubt that God will keep His promises. Like David, we can begin to question God, “Have you reject us, O God” Will you no longer march with our armies?” (Psalm 108:11 NLT). It is during those times we must remind ourselves that God is faithful. He rescues. He restores. He may not do it according to our schedule or exactly as we would like it done, but He will do it. The temptation for us during what appears to be those seasons of inaction on God’s part, is to turn to someone or something else for help. In many cases, we are tempted to trust ourselves for the solution we’re looking for, in spite of our abysmal track record. But David knew better. He said, “all human help is useless” (Psalm 108:12b NLT). Anything we turn to as a substitute for God will eventually fail us. But with God’s help we will do mighty things. This is a lesson only learned through experience. It can be taught, but it is rarely caught, until we are forced to experience it first hand. Relying on God takes guts. Trusting Him when everything in you says to take matters into your own hands takes faith. But as we grow in our understanding of His character, we become increasingly more confident and quick to place our trust in Him and Him alone.

Father, continue to teach me to trust You. Thank You that my heart is more confident in You today than it has ever been. I still have a long way to go, but You have never given me a reason to doubt You. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org