by Paul List:
Times are strange. A variety of changes we’ve never imagined, at least never before in my generation, comes at us quickly. The starts and stops recently have prohibited any semblance of a regular pattern in life. Summer is usually predictable: camp, vacation, family outings, pool visits and a variety of gatherings to meet with the church body, but this summer was different, strange, tainted. Yet here we are; summer nearly over, school right around the corner. Anxiety, uncertainty, fear and even anger surround the upcoming academic year; much more can be said on the negative aspects of the past few months and the future. However, the Bible offers encouragement and wisdom for times such as these.
Psalm 40:1-3 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined His ear to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”
During strange, scary times, we should cry out to the Lord.
During regular, peaceful times we should cry out to the Lord.
If our focus in on the news, media, worldly chatter and issues, our focus will be strange, scary and full of sinful fear. However, when we focus on God, we directs our focus to higher, eternal, glorious things; our view will not be limited to the fear and sin of this limited worldly vision, but lifted up above the fog and mire. We will cry out to the Lord and He will hear us. He will speak to us. And He has! He gave us His plan for redemption: the good news of the Gospel. When we focus on Jesus, the Rock, our firm foundation for salvation, we no longer live in fear, but in patient joy.
It is the good news that even while we were yet sinners, God sent His Son to die for our sins. It is good news that we can know Him right now, and be confident in our salvation. It is good news that we can live a God-honoring life focused on repentance, forgiveness and eternal life with our loving and patient Savior. It is good news that no matter what the corrupt, sinful, fallen world throws at us, be it disease, war, famine, poverty or prosperity, His love for us endures all things and for all time.
The other amazing thing about Psalm 40:3 is that when the people of God, that is you and I, life a live of thanksgiving and of courage and life for His glory, others will not fail to see it. Others will be drawn to our witness. They too will take into consideration their eternal condition. They will see our proclamation of faith and thanksgiving and they will wonder why we are not afraid, scared or worried. They will fear the Lord that gives His people strength and courage. They will also learn from us to put their trust in the Lord God Almighty.