Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Hope in God
“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’”
The prospect of death and what lies beyond is of great interest to the secular world. Philosophers over the centuries have dedicated their lives to this endeavor and yet the modern world stands today still unsure. Fortunately, our faith gives us a great hope in Jesus Christ and transforms our lives so that death is only the beginning. We have been called, not to dedicate our lives to understanding death, but to live out Christ's victory over death on the cross.
At first glance Psalm 92 is your quintessential Psalm. It offers praise to God, uses rich imagery and poetic language to describe the joys of worshiping God and describes in no uncertain terms the fate of those who oppose God. Yet, upon closer study, this Psalm also offers instruction on how to deal with the struggles of our sojourn in this world. Two key points the Psalmist raises are: 1. Maintain a strong relationship with God. 2. Lean on the wisdom of God.
The first point seems fairly obvious but we often fail to address it. Daily prayer, meditation on his word, and sacrificing our own interests for those of the kingdom are all actions that form a strong relationship with our God. The Psalmist says this by stating the importance of proclaiming God's love day and night (v1-2). A great example of someone who truly applied this message is Daniel. Trapped in a foreign land, he refused to eat food that was offered to other gods. Furthermore, when King Darius forbade the worship of anyone beside himself, Daniel continued to pray three times a day with wide-open windows (Daniel 6). Daniel prayed despite a royal edict from the most powerful kingdom of the time and yet we allow less pressing matters, like our fatigue or our busy schedules, to affect our relationship with God. Furthermore, we all know that Daniel’s faith in God reassured him when he was in the lion’s den. In the same way we need to know and reassure ourselves that our God is strong and even though we "walk through the valley of the shadow of death" our God is with us and saves us.
The second point is brought up in verses 5-6. "How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!" As mere humans we cannot understand the wisdom of God. It may seem counter productive or incorrect to us, but it is always for the best. In the moments of trial in our lives we tend to forget how strong God is compared to our problems and us and we tend to forget the love that manifested itself on the cross. The story of Gideon is one of the best displays of God’s wisdom. When Gideon had to fight against the Midianites, he had nearly twenty-three thousand men. God shrunk the army to three hundred and said that it was this many men he would go against the powerful Midianites. God won the victory for Israel and Gideon by simply using noise, light and fear. Not a single Israelite had to fight in battle, let alone die. This brilliant and unlikely victory was won by Gideon’s reliance of the wisdom of God.
Our lives in this secular and modern world are not easy. Yet, despite the trials and tribulations we face need to maintain a strong relationship with and God and stay confident in his ability to save us. Our hope in God is what sets us apart and will never fail us. Now it is our job, not to fret over death and the trivial things in life like the world does, but to put our hope on display through our actions so that the entire world may see it.
Prayer: Father, help us to remain strong in our relationship with you and to grow closer to you. We want to you to be the first and foremost in our lives. Help us to rely on your providence and your wisdom. We praise you for continually watching over us and caring for us. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Can others see our Great Hope?
Theme for the week: Old age: with hope in God