Let’s be honest: we look at all the insanity in the world, as well as the various trials in our personal lives, and try to figure out what the Lord is doing. As a matter of fact, Christians feel a sense of responsibility to understand His purposes in everything that happens. I suppose we think having a firm grip on perplexing circumstances will help us weather them.
A few days ago I read a psalm that gave me a perspective on facing difficulties that I’d never considered before.
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever. ~~Psalm 131 (NASB)
In the past, I’d isolated the verses from each other, so none of them really made much sense to me. Occasionally verse 1 reminded me to maintain a semblance of humility, and verse 2 encouraged me to trust the Lord, but I failed to see how those verses fit together. And I completely ignored verse 3.
When I read Psalm 131 a few days ago, however, I disciplined myself to think about their context. Suddenly the psalm took on a clarity that surprised me. In this psalm, David teaches that Israel can hope in the Lord by resting in Him instead of trying to figure out what He’s doing through the various situations in the world.
Last time I blogged, I talked about the sinful direction of government. Like most Christians who take the Bible seriously, I feel sad, discouraged, angry and fearful as I see increasing attacks on Christian principles. As much as I expect persecution and pray to be prepared for it, I have to admit that I don’t want to go through it! As far as I’m concerned, the Rapture can’t come soon enough!
So, because I’m proud enough to, fancy that I can discern how current events fit into eschatological prophecy, I find myself being haughty. Sure, I’ll concede that I don’t know exactly how things will play out, but I tend towards thinking that I can get a handle on it. After all, I’m a discernment blogger, right? I’m supposed to know how God plans to use the disintegration of Western civilization to usher in His millenial kingdom. I’m supposed to understand everything that is going on.
In truth, I can’t go beyond what the Holy Spirit has revealed in His Word. Are we on the cusp of the Great Tribulation? It certainly seems so. Just as it seemed so to 16th Century Protestants during the Black Plague as the Roman Catholic Church persecuted them. Going back even further, the First Century Christians probably thought that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., in addition to their persecution, indicated that Christ would return immediately.
We can’t look at the news each evening and conclude that Christ will return in our lifetime. Verse 1 of Psalm 131 reminds me that I have no business trying to understand whether or not we are in the end times. While we should be mindful that He could return at any moment, we should be careful not to concern ourselves too deeply with eschatological systems. The Father knows when that time will come, and He commands us to avoid speculation.
In the meantime, God calls us to trust in Him the way a small child trusts in her mother. I can remember being little, and feeling safe in all circumstances as long as my mother had me in her arms. To this day, when I’m sick I long for her touch that always made me feel as if she would vanquish my illness. Most of you undoubtedly have similar memories of your mothers.
As uncertain as these times are, the Lord wants us to know that we can lean on Him. We don’t understand our personal trials, nor do we understand the chaos in our society. But as Psalm 131:3 summons Israel to trust in the Lord, so we can find hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.Follow my blog with Bloglovin