Sing Praises to Him
Psalm 33:1-5 NASB
“Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.”
Sometimes the cares of this world can get us down. Sometimes, when we see all the evil that is going on all around us, we can get discouraged and disheartened.
Often, when we see all the evil that is now permeating the church, and our governments, and the people of the world, and even the people of God, it saddens our hearts, and it seems overwhelming. And, we can end up focusing our thoughts solely on what ails the world and the church, and we can forget to praise the Lord for his goodness to us through it all.
This is not saying that we should not proclaim the truth and expose the lies of the evil one. We definitely need to be doing that, especially now. But, we have to be so careful that we don’t do that to the exclusion of praise and thanksgiving to God for what he has done and is doing even in the midst of all this madness that is going on in our world and in the church.
We have to be so careful that we don’t lose sight of God’s sovereignty in the midst of all this craziness. For, he is still God. And, he is still on the throne. And, his purposes will be accomplished no matter what else is going on.
God, in his sovereignty, not only allows evil to exist, but he allows it to tempt those who are his. He doesn’t tempt us, but he allows us to be tempted by evil. He has not yet destroyed evil, although one day he will. He allows evil to exist and to hurt people, too. But, he is loving and patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, which is why he has not yet brought the judgment against all evil that he has promised is coming. He wants as many to be saved as possible.
Stand in Awe of Him
Psalm 33:6-12 NASB
“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”
But, even in the midst of this evil crazy world, God is at work moving in people’s hearts and lives. And, he is changing people’s lives. He is moving them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18). And, that is cause for much rejoicing!
And, he is working all things together for good (his good) for those who love him (who obey him) and who have been called according to his purposes (Rom. 8:28). And, his purposes are that we walk (in conduct, in practice) with him, and to his righteousness, and that we no longer live according to our sinful flesh (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Yet, what Satan means for evil in our lives, God intends for good, “to preserve many people alive” (Gen. 50:20). So, He will bring good to us out of our trials, if we will surrender our lives to him, and if we will submit to his purposes.
Through it all, the Lord is with those of us who are his by faith in Jesus Christ – a faith that is evidenced by repentance, submission and obedience to Christ (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Through all the suffering going on in the world, and through all the evil that is permeating our societies and the church in our day, we can raise a banner cry, proclaiming the holiness of God, and exalting his name above all other names, and above all other gods. We can tell of his goodness and of his mercy and grace – a grace that delivers us from our slavery to sin. Amen!
We can proclaim to the world his justice, his righteousness and his faithfulness. And, we can call people to repentance and to faith in Jesus Christ so that they can be saved from their sins and have eternal life with God. But, we need to tell them the truth about sin, judgment, and salvation, and not feed them lies which will coddle them in their sins.
He Understands Their Works
Psalm 33:13-17 NASB
“The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.
The king is not saved by a mighty army;
A warrior is not delivered by great strength.
A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.”
Contrary to popular opinion, God still sees when we sin against him. If we are his, by faith in him – a faith that is actively being lived out in our lives day by day – our sins are forgiven. But, if we are living our lives to our flesh, to do what we want, while claiming faith in Jesus Christ, and while claiming that his grace covers over all our sin, or that God can’t even see our sin, then we need to know that the New Testament makes it quite clear that God can still see when we sin, and he says if we live to sin, we will die in our sin.
And, he wants us to know that we are not saved from our sins and bound for heaven on a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We are not saved by our good works done in the flesh, either. Nothing done in the flesh can save us from our sins or guarantee us heaven. And a “faith” in Jesus Christ that does not submit to him as Lord, and that does not repent of sin, and that does not walk with him in holiness and to his righteousness, in obedience to his commands, is not a faith that will save you, for it is still flesh.
On Those Who Fear Him
Psalm 33:18-22 NASB
“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.”
The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, and he saves us from our sins. He delivers us from our slavery (addiction) to sin, and he empowers us and strengthens us to walk daily in his holiness and righteousness. He gives us all that we need to live godly and holy lives, set apart from the world of sin and unto God and to his purposes (Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Rom. 6:1-23).
And, those who fear him are those who honor him as the holy God that he is, who show him respect, reverence and obedience to his commands. They are those who are walking in the ways of the Lord and not in the ways of this sinful world. He delivers them from their slavery to sin, and from the punishment of sin, and he promises them eternal life (Rom. 2:6-8; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
So, don’t let the cares of this world get you down. Don’t let them take you out. Have faith in God and in his sovereignty and rejoice in him and give him all the praise that he deserves. Trust him even in the bad times, and rely on his love and grace to see you through every circumstance that comes your way. And, keep on teaching the truth and exposing the lies so that many can come to true faith in Jesus Christ and be delivered from their bondage to sin.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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