Psalm 121:1-2 ESV
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Have you ever been in a situation where you just don’t know what to do? It is one of those situations where, no matter what you do, it could turn out badly. If you respond in a particular way, it may be twisted and used against you, but if you don’t respond at all, that could also be misinterpreted and used against you, too. So, it’s a “catch-22.” It’s a potential lose-lose.
For, “a catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules or limitations” (Wikipedia). It’s “a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule,” i.e. it’s “an illogical, unreasonable, or senseless situation” (M-W dictionary). It’s definitely a contradictory situation with no seemingly viable good solution. For, it makes no sense.
So, when we are faced with such situations as these, we must look to the Lord to be our help. If we try to go it alone in our flesh, i.e. if we try to figure it out ourselves, it probably will blow up in our face, and that won’t be good, not that there is any time when relying on ourselves is a good idea. And also not that if the Lord leads us in a direction that it is always going to go smoothly, either, for people do get persecuted for doing good.
Yet, in times like these, in particular, but in everything we need to look to the Lord to be our wisdom, our counsel, our help, and our strength. Even if bad things come from it, if we have trusted in the Lord to help us and to counsel us in the right direction, and if we have followed his counsel, and it is biblical counsel, then we can be at peace in knowing that we followed the Lord, and we can trust him to work it all out for good in our lives.
Psalm 121:3-6 ESV
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
We who believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives are true biblical Israel. For, the promise of God was to Abraham and to his seed, which was singular, meaning Jesus Christ. So, those of us who believe in Jesus are heirs of the promise.
We are God’s people, his children. Everyone else, including Jews who have not accepted Jesus as their Messiah, are now regarded as Gentiles. For, they are of Hagar, still in slavery. They are the nations, i.e. those who do not believe in the one true God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit.
[See: Romans 9:6b-8; Gal. 3:10, 16, 26-29; Gal. 4:22-31; Eph. 2:14-18; 1 Jn. 2:22]
So, to apply this to today, this applies only to those who have turned their lives over to Jesus Christ, who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him.
He is going to help us to be steadfast in our faith despite all opposition, persecution and difficult situations which test our faith.
If we will listen to him, and if we will heed his counsel, and if we will trust him for solutions to our “catch-22” situations, he will show us the way we should go, and he will give us all we need to do what is right, no matter how it turns out, or how it seems to turn out initially, for we don’t see what God is doing in ways that are not visible to us. For, what seems hopeless to us is not impossible to him.
So, we need to turn to him for help, and then trust him with the results. For, he is all powerful and he is completely sovereign over all things, and nothing escapes his notice or takes him by surprise. And, he is totally trustworthy.
Psalm 121:7-8 ESV
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
For those of us who have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are being kept safe from all evil so that we do not succumb to it, if we are living by the faith we profess. For, we are not puppets on a string. We can still sin against God. We can succumb to evil if we remove ourselves from under his umbrella of protection by us choosing to ignore him and to go our own way.
But, if our faith is firmly planted in the Lord and in his Word, and if we are looking to him for our help and counsel and strength, he is not going to let us down. He will never leave or forsake us. He is not going to refuse to help us. But, he will lead, help, counsel and give strength and empowerment to follow him in the right way and to resist Satan, to flee temptation and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith.
And, that should give us great encouragement! For, he is going to give us all we need in every situation in our lives to rise above all that opposes God and his Word and his gospel of our salvation.
And, he is going to carry us through every trial and give us all we need to endure unjust suffering and to keep on growing and maturing in our faith in our Lord Jesus. So, we should never fear whatever he brings our way or whatever he allows to come into our lives, for he is still in control, and he has not deserted us. He is with us always.
But, it isn’t just that he keeps us from giving into temptation to sin, if we will yield to his rule over our lives, but that he is sovereign over every aspect of our lives. In Psalm 139 it says that all the days ordained for us were written down in God’s book before any of them even came into being. He had a plan and a purpose for our lives even before he created the world.
So, nothing just happens to us. Either he causes it to happen or he allows it to happen, and whatever he allows or whatever he brings into our lives he will use for his purposes to make us holy and to conform us to his likeness. And, for me that brings great comfort to know that my God is watching out for me, that he has me in the palm of his hand, and that nothing can touch me but he allows it, and he allows it for a purpose, and he will bring good out of it in some way.
And, even if we think we know this, we might be surprised to learn how easily we might forget when we are truly faced with situations that greatly test our faith. So, we need reminders. I know I do. And, I am thankful to the Lord, not only for the reminders in his Word, but for how he teaches us through one another. Today I was greatly encouraged by reading other people’s posts and hearing what the Lord was teaching them and how that was helping them to grow in their faith.
So, in all things, and in all situations, no matter how bad some of them may be, we have to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and we must realize that we truly need him all the time, and we must lean on him for support and trust in his counsel and follow him in doing what he says to do. And, then we need to believe that he is going to work it all out for good.
I Need Thee Every Hour
Hymn lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1872
Ref. by Robert Lowry, 1872
Music by Robert Lowry, 1872
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee every hour; stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.
I need Thee, O I need Thee; every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.
*copyright status is public domain
Saturday, June 22, 2019, 11:11 p.m.