Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 13th May 2020.
How are you doing? It’s almost 6 months since the first case of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China? In Australia, we identified the first case a month later in January. Then, the outbreak grew into a pandemic. Borders closed and social lock down started almost 2 months ago.
How are you doing? As a pastor, I’m tired. My heart and mind exhausted from the demands of ministry in this season. I’m frustrated because I’m unable to meet the needs of people (and yes, I know that I can’t do everything). As a parent, I’m tired and frustrated too. How about you?
Even as restrictions begin to ease, there’s still a long road ahead with many unknowns. When will life return to normal? Who knows? Yet, as we meditate on God’s Word this morning, we turn to the one who does. Join me as we take a look at Psalm 31—
David begins this psalm with the words, “I take refuge in the LORD.” What follows is a list of difficulties and struggles. You can hear the distress of the David’s heart. Then we come to the middle of the psalm and hear these words:
But I trust in you, LORD;Psalm 31:14-16 (NIV)
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
I trust in you
Let’s meditate on these words. After highlighting the challenges of life, David declares, “But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” In the face of his challenges and distress, he turns to God in a conscious act of trust. How can David take refuge in the LORD? By turning his heart to the LORD and trusting in him.
When we face challenges and difficulties in life, we can learn here from David. He declares his trust in God. He can only declare his trust in God, because he knows the person of God. He knows the heart of God. He knows God.
In the two following verses, we see David highlight two precious truths about God. 1) The times and seasons of life are in the hands of God. 2) God is the God of unfailing love.
God holds you in his hands
David’s confidence in God stems from his understanding of the sovereignty of God. “My times are in your hands.” Not only does God hold this time and season of COVID-19 in his hands, he holds your current season of life in his hands. He holds every season of your life in his hands. Nothing escapes his notice. Friend, do you know that God holds every season of your life in his hands?
When we know, understand and trust God holds our life in his hands, it should give assurance. Nothing in this life will ever take God by surprise. Nothing in this life is outside God’s control. And yes, he does allow bad things to happen, but only on his terms. Remember Job? Challenges and difficulties in life will come, but only on God’s terms. God’s sovereign, God’s in control. Friend, remember that your times, your seasons, your life is in his hands.
Unlike David though, few of us have real enemies who pursue us. There is an enemy who pursues each one of us. Check out 1 Peter 5:8—
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
The devil is your enemy. He is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He is your greatest enemy. Why? Because if you love Jesus, the devil hates you. He hates Jesus’ love for you. He hates Jesus’ salvation for you. He hates Jesus’ authority and power. He hates Jesus, because he delivers you from the snares of death by going to the Cross and dying for you.
This is how Jesus delivers us from the enemy, he will give up his life for yours. The devil will pursue you, but know that God will deliver you. Jesus’ death and resurrection guarantees and secures eternal life for you. He holds your life, your time, your seasons in his hands. You are forever safe in hands.
God’s unfailing love
The second thing that should establish our confidence and trust in God is his unfailing love. Love drove Jesus to his death on the Cross. But it’s his unfailing love, the loving kindness of God, that sustains us through our days.
Why? Because his unfailing love means that nothing will remove his love from us. His love for us isn’t based on our daily performance. His love for us ins’t even based on how much we love him. His love for us is his grace and mercy towards us. This is why we sing “Amazing Grace,” because there’s nothing in this world quite like it.
When we come to him in our sin, in our brokenness, in our failure, in our weakness. Like little children, we come with our eyes facing the ground, we don’t dare look up to a holy God. Yet, as a loving Father, he stoops down and gently lifts up our eyes to meet his gaze. His face filled with gentleness and grace, so David sings: “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.”
Friend, God’s love for you, his unfailing love, so he turns his face to you, it shines on you. Your times, your seasons, your life is in his hands. Will you join with David and declare today, “But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
Heavenly Father, what a privilege to call you that. We come to you, not only as our God, but as our Father. You love us with an unfailing love. Will you reveal your love afresh to us? Let your face shine on us, may we know the joy of our salvation.
Lord Jesus, thank you for going to the cross and conquering death. Thank you for delivering us from our greatest enemy, the devil. Thank you for your protection from him. Remind and encourage us that we are safe in your hands. You are the good shepherd and no one will snatch us out of your hand.
Holy Spirit, continue to work in our hearts, drawing us closer to you God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Continue to encourage us when we fall. Comfort us in our distress. And, fix our eyes back on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Now, may the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.Numbers 6:24–26 (NIV)