Be Strong; Take Courage
This past Sunday I preached the morning service at my church. It is an awesome responsibility to stand before people and proclaim God’s Word. I am insufficient to the task. Thankfully God is sufficient and He can, and does, use even the ridiculous ramblings of a foolish man to accomplish His purpose. I was led to preach on a verse we saw in the book of Job. There we discover that God delivers the afflicted through their affliction. My sermon touched on the issue of human misery and where it comes from and why He permits it. The short answer to its origin is man. When man chose to be his own god in the Garden of Eden all of creation fell. God had put the earth under man’s dominion and when man fell he took creation with him. Misery came by man’s choosing. Satan has continued to use sin and the misery that flows from it to distract the Lost and the Saved from God’s purpose. Still, God is able to redeem us from our self-centeredness and restore us to right relationship with Him.
I was reminded of all of that as I read today’s Psalms. I am further reminded of the misery Jesus Christ suffered on the cross because of my sin. When I got to the 31st Psalm my mind sparked at the following verse:
Psalm 31:5 ESV
“Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”
Where have you heard that phrase “Into your hand I commit my spirit” before?
Luke 23:46 ESV
“Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.”
The Gospels record a number of things that Jesus said on the cross which were actually Scripture found in the Psalms. You’ve just read one of them. Here is another.
Matthew 27:46 ESV
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”
This was a reference to Psalm 22 which begins:
Psalm 22 ESV
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?”
If you remember reading through that Psalm earlier you will recall that much of what was written there accurately described Jesus on the cross. Read the 31st Psalm knowing that Jesus referred to it on the cross. You will see that the Psalmist writes of misery experienced but joy soon to come. He writes of taking refuge in God; of being strong and taking courage as one waits for the deliverance He brings. Do you trust in Him? Have you committed your spirit into His hands? Be strong; take courage!
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!