By all appearances, things were not going well for David when he wrote this Psalm. He in wartime, and acknowledges that God no longer goes out with his army, as if He has rejected them (v. 11). Yet, he begins the Psalm saying that his heart is steadfast- unshaken (v. 1). He is so overflowing with praise, he will sing and make music with his soul (v. 1). Not only that, but David is certain of singing and making music among peoples and nations (v. 3).
Because of God’s great love and faithfulness.
God’s love is no small matter. I wonder how often I feel that it is, though. Maybe at times when I doubt that it will last. When I doubt it is abounding toward me. When I keep it tucked away for my personal consolation and neglect to tell of it to others. Maybe when I assume on it so that I forget to praise God for it.
But surely it is a great love that makes a way for salvation. A great love that died so that a cursed one might become a beloved child. A great love that holds on through life and death, sickness and health, demonic opposition and temptation. A great love that is enough to supply every need. A great love that endures forever.
God’s great love should elicit songs, in even the most troubled times. His great love has power to hold a heart steadfast.
Likewise, David’s heart could be steadfast because God himself is faithful. He does not change and His Word does not fail. His abundant faithfulness means He is a steady, unchanging hope and refuge. Faithfulness permeates all His mercies and judgements.
May David’s refrain resound often in my heart so that, like him, my soul will sing and my mouth speak of God’s love and faithfulness to the nations.
He is more than able to do it. His love is never-ending and never failing. His love is fully able to satisfy my needs and desires, because, however large those desires seem, they are small compared to him.
Today is a Monday, sure. Even so it is a day. Therefore it is a day to pray for and witness manifestations of his love- in Scripture, through the heart work of the Holy Spirit in prayer, through the peace that passes understanding, his constant presence, his patient forgiveness to cover his children’s failings, his daily kindness and mercy, and many other things beside. It is a day to pray that my heart would be wise enough to see his love, and to count all other wants and needs as loss for the sake of knowing my God and his love.
“The mercy of God is the spring and fountain of all the good we have or hope for; mercy, not only to the miserable, but to the guilty. Next to mercy is peace, which we have from the sense of having obtained mercy. From peace springs love; Christ’s love to us, our love to him, and our brotherly love to one another.” -Matthew Henry
When sleep is short, pencils and time are lacking, and the weight of responsibilities seems to increase, it does my heart good to remember the affection of my God toward me. Mercy, peace, and love… not just in part or small portions, but in abundance according to the greatness of his generosity.
“Let us run with endurance the race…”
Having thrown out sin and the weight of unwise things, we must continue. The race will not be easy, therefore it calls for strength and patience and the willingness to last. How much am I hindered because I want ease or comfort or sin more than embracing the work of the race? Comparison. Envy. Worry. Thanklessness. Time wasters. Discontent. Grumbling. Partiality. Impurity. Selfishness. These things will not help me win.
“…that is set before us…”
The race runner doesn’t make the course. We trust God for that. We follow what he has established, planned, and allowed. This race is our sanctification- the work of the Holy Spirit in our every step and thought of obedience that makes us more like the character of Christ. Far be it from me to take up the weights of grumbling about my course, or of judging the wisdom of the course-maker, or of worrying over the length or difficulty of the race that God has set before me.
“…Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God…”
Every runner has a goal: the finish line. The Christian has a person: Christ. So, then, just as the goal is the utmost importance to winning, so Christ is of the utmost importance to the believer in his or her race. He is there in the race with us, because He has promised never to leave us. He is also before us, having already faced even death and defeating it.
He knows joy in obedience. He has endured. He helps our unbelief and strengthens our faith. This is our Savior. This is our God.
As the school year comes to an end, as life goes on, the most helpful phrase I can remember is “fixing our eyes on Christ”. The best meditation of my heart is Christ and all thatScripture has revealed of his character and work on my behalf.
The Lord has shown his faithfulness and goodness by what he has done. His creation and actions are cause for joy. His wisdom and thoughts are very great.
As feeble as our praise and music may feel, it is good for our hearts and pleasing to our Father to begin and end each day with them. Even to begin with this Psalm for the Sabbath… and for a Tuesday morning. May our praise beget more praise and our joy in the Lord’s goodness increase with our knowledge and experience of his faithfulness.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:3-9
Happy Easter! May our lives be marked by such rejoicing and gladness and hope. Our Savior died for us. He lives again. He is coming back for us. And in the meanwhile, He walks with us.
By God’s grace, arranged and played by Kate
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”