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Posts Tagged ‘faithfulness’

How to maintain our congregations; how to hold our ground amid the competition of neighboring workers; how to sustain the vigor and efficiency of our machinery; how to adjust the differences arising between fellow and subordinate workers; how to find material enough for sermons and addresses – beneath the pressure of burdens like these how many workers break down! They could bear the work, but not the worry.

And yet the responsibility of the work is not ours but our Master’s.  He is bearing this world in His arms, as a mother her sick child.  He is ministering to the infinite need of man. He is carrying on His great redemptive scheme for the glory of His Father. All He wants of us is a faithful performance of the daily tasks He gives.

Let the sailor lad sleep soundly in his hammock; the captain knows exactly the ship’s course. Let the errand boy be content to fetch and carry as he is bidden; the heads of the firm know what they are about and have plenty of resources to meet all their needs. And let the Christian worker guard against bearing burdens that the Lord alone can carry. The Lord would never have sent us to His work without first calculating His ability to carry us through.

 

This is the 4th excerpt taken from F. B. Meyer’s book on The Secret of Guidance, under the section on Burdens, and What to Do With Them – EmmausTrekker

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Just a few days ago I wrote my post entitled ‘Inspiration For A Song’ and a part of it is where the psalmist said that he will declare God’s steadfast love in the morning (Psalm 92:2).  Well, this is what happened to me today, as I set myself – mind, heart and body – to read the Scriptures, particularly Psalm 94 which was the next on my list.  With some concerns troubling my soul, I prayed and read the Scripture, and as I go through the entire Psalm, God’s steadfast love flooded my soul through what is written:

When I thought, “my foot slips,” your steadfast love O Lord held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” – Psalm 94:18-19

After laying my petition to God for the people I pray for daily as well as my own needs, I stood up as a man who has entered into the Lord’s peace for He has truly comforted me.  I am assured of facing the day in His victory; in fact, this has sustained me all through the day even when oppositions faced my way.  Just like the psalmist who knew the enemies of the Lord will not prosper, I went through the troubles of the day unscathe.

As I sit now again during the night watch at my home while rummaging through the events of the day in my mind, I praise the Lord for His faithfulness (Psalm 92:2) for even before the tumult of the day, He has sent His Word for my comfort. Blessed be the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Consolation of my heart and of those whose trust is in Him. Amen and amen.

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Psalm 92 
(a Song for the Sabbath)
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
 5 How great are your works, O Lord!
Your thoughts are very deep!
6 The stupid man cannot know;
the fool cannot understand this:
7 that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
8 but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
9 For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.
10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
you have poured over me fresh oil.
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants. 
12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Inspiration

The psalmist begins by an intention springing from his heart that sings, “it is good to give thanks to the Lord”. Through this inspiration, the elements of the song are brought together. Realities that has happened to him permeates the song, but more so, are these realities understood as the works of the One who sustains him at all times – the LORD.

Men today draws inspiration from many places, situations, things and memories. You only need to listen to a lyricist or musical composer or even a poet, whenever they reveal their sources – from the mundane to the esoteric. Not so with the psalmist;  in verse 2, God’s unchanging love and faithfulness displayed in  His work are manifested in the psalmist’s experience. Today, we have the Holy Spirit-inspired Psalm 92  as part of the Scriptures for us. God’s specific deeds in focus are scrolled out in the succeeding verses:

  • Verses 5 – 9:  God’s sovereignty even over wicked men and the wrath reserved for them at the appointed time.
  • Verses 10 – 15:  In contrast to the preceding verses, we read God’s sustaining grace and kindness on the psalmist even to old age.

These have become the contents for the inspired song which he purposed to be sang on the Sabbath, a day that  God’s people are commanded to take rest from their labors and meditate upon the Lord and His work.  Today, a type of Sabbath is entered into for those who trust and obey the Lord Jesus Christ who has given us eternal rest by His salvation through His finished work on the cross and resurrection.  In Jesus alone, we have peace with God – in Him we have entered God’s rest by faith.

As it is written:

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.  For we who have believed enter that rest…” – Hebrews 4:1-3

For this reason, we join the psalmist in his declaration of praise to God:

For you have made me glad by your works; at the works of your hands, I sing for joy”- Psalm 92:4

Rest from enemies

The enemies still surround and perhaps are still plotting evil against the psalmist but  he knows that God is his enemies ultimate foe, and they will never prosper, whether in the immediate or in the future. In the Lord he finds his rest.  Rest is not the absence of trouble, but rest is knowing that all events at all times are in God’s hands and those who take refuge in Him are safe.

Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” – Exodus 14:13-14

When God, through His servant Moses, was about to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Pharoah, He sent His word of comfort and assurance for the people, that they may not be overwhelmed and be witnesses to the hand of God that brought down destruction upon their enemies.  Moses is a type of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In the Lord, salvation and reprieve from enemies is assured, whether physical or spiritual.  The term ‘you only have to be silent’ is another way of commanding them to trust in Him. And to trust means to be believe what He said and be assured of the fulfillment His promise.

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” – 2 Corinthians 1:19-22

Our arch enemy, Satan, is already defeated at the cross and we are realizing this day by day in our lives as the Lord sanctifies us through His Word through the active working of the Holy Spirit. And on God’s appointed day of Christ’s return, this enemy alongwith all wickedness will be cast into the lake of fire.

The psalmist identifies the enemy as stupid and foolish (v. 5-6) for they do not know that they are against God who has anointed him (v.10). Strong evidence points the authorship of the psalm to David despite the absence of any direct attribution to him. He wrote in an earlier psalm that many are his foes and at the time he penned this, he is still plagued by them.  This time though, he writes with his eyes set on God’s greatness, bringing him strength and assurance of God’s steadfastness.

Longevity

David now reflects on the longevity of life marked with fruitfulness that God has blessed him (v.12-14). It does not effectively say that he is already old by the time he wrote this, but it conveys to the reader his confidence of God’s sustaining grace (v. 15).

Indeed the Lord has given many of His people long life, not only during biblical times but also today.  Yet, as God is sovereign, not everyone who trusts in Christ Jesus may live long, but every child of God is given the assurance of a full life – full of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.

Someone said that it is not the years in our life but the life in our years. In Jesus, we may not necessarily count scores of years, but we can be sure of recounting His sufficient and abounding grace each day.  And in the end, the more we know Him through His word and work, the more we are grounded in the security we find in Him. Of His sheep, He confirmed,

I know them, and they follow me and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish,and no one shall snatch them out of my hand” – John 10:26-27.

You see my dear reader, the psalmist speaks of God’s judgment on the wicked. Truth is, we are all God’s enemies and as indicated in the psalm, our days are counted and fiery judgment awaits us in the end.  Our sin has earned us the wrath of the Almighty. Jesus said that we should not be afraid of man who can put the body to death, but rather we should fear God who alone can cast both body and soul into the fire (Matthew 10:28).  In order that God’s wrath can be appeased, Jesus Christ, the Son of God humbled Himself by becoming a servant, clothing Himself with human flesh through the virgin birth, took our place – the place of God’s enemy – and upon Himself God’s wrath was poured at the cross. He was crushed for our inquity. The innocent for the guilty, He died our death.  He satisfied the righteous demand of God and upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

If you have not trusted in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, you certainly remain under His wrath (John 3:18).  Similarly, as the psalmist declared in verse 7, you may think your life is prospering, but in reality you have fattened your heart with sinful indulgence for the day of slaughter (James 5:5).

God commands you to repent and believe the Gospel of His only begotten Son – who is both Lord and Christ – that by His saving work through the eternal Spirit, you may enter God’s peace, being fully assured of eternal life, His steadfast love and faithfulness all the days of your life, while waiting for the inheritance of the fullness of the kingdom that is to come.

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” – Hebrews 13:12-15

Finally Psalm 92 is a song truly fitting for those who rest in the love and faithfulness of the  Lord Jesus Christ, and together with the psalmist, we sing:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High!” – Psalm 92:1 

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