Psalm 31 spoke deeply to my soul this morning. In the seemingly ever-increasing storm clouds of doom and gloom with the current state of our government and world, Psalm 31 was a wonderful reminder for me this morning of God’s faithful presence in the midst of strife.
“In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me…. You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me.”
I also sat facing east and on one of those very rare mornings you can actually see the sun in Ohio. It is quite an adjustment having lived down South for so long where there was sun every day. But what a sight seeing the sun rise and being reassured that a new day is upon us, a new start.
But the most powerful words of the psalm came just a verse later: “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.” It could be argued that Jesus quoted this Psalm from the cross at his death.
Fear does weird things. Anger or dismay often lead us to throw up our hands and sometimes we retreat into our fear. This is NOT what God intends for us! We are to move forward in faith, not backward in fear.
Courage and trust are needed.
This is not the time to forget the words of the psalmist, but to claim our heritage and the faith of our ancestors. It could be much worse. And it was much worse. And we as a people made it through back then. And we will make it through now.
In whatever challenge you face today, personally or collectively, be assured that God delivered us from the hand of Pharaoh, and through the wilderness. And God will not leave us now.
I often resource churches in trouble or in transition. Often I encounter budgets that look just fine, but fear has grabbed a hold of the people, and a theology of scarcity has crept in too.
Often I am reminding them they have all the resources they need, namely one another, and I am looking around the table at a goodly portion of those resources – you all! Money is not going to save us. Now is not the time to cancel programs or reduce ministry, but to claim a genuine opportunity for new heights in ministry.
Jesus did a heck of a lot of ministry with only 12 disciples and the sandals on his feet. How much more can we do with the energy and power of so many more? Our communities of faith will endure any trouble. I believe this because I believe the gospel.
We will see it through the anxiety of job loss or economic downturn, of medical bills piling up, and of community demographics declining. We will see it through a chaotic and troubling Trump presidency. We will see it through, because we know that God has already delivered us from the hands of the enemies. The true enemy cannot touch us anymore.
We are the Lord’s, who is abundant in goodness, and who has taken us into the shelter of his presence. The world around us may change, but our spiritual home is secure.
May you see the Light of God’s presence this day.