Today’s reading: Hebrews 8, Psalm 16
This past Sunday, I was serving alongside friend of mine. While I hadn’t seen her in about sixty days, she didn’t seem to be herself. When we had a little break in the action, she told me her family had received some bad health news in the past few weeks. Life-altering news. As our conversation went on, she shared that her husband had recently been diagnosed with a terminal condition.
What? This condition generally impacts elderly individuals, not those in their prime. Her husband has always been pretty healthy, has taken good care of himself and he doesn’t have a history of health problems. How could this be happening to him? Plus, she recently lost her mother and has been helping her father recover from cancer treatment over the past several months. How much can one family really endure? This news was hard to process. My heart was heavy. While my friend is still in the early stages of figuring out how to deal with this life-altering condition, our conversation over the next 45 minutes revealed her determination and complete trust in God.
As I began to prepare for today’s post, and reflected on my Sunday conversation, David’s words in Psalm 16 spoke to my heart. Scholars believe this Psalm was written during the period of time David was running from Saul, who was trying to kill him. Even in the midst of such adverse circumstances, David trusted God and was able to find hope.
- Even in perilous circumstances, David’s faith in God was unwavering – Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing” (Psalm 16:1-2).
- David recognized that life was from, and depended solely on God – Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure (Psalm 16:5).
- David submitted to God and the wisdom of his ways – I will praise the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me (Psalm 16:7).
- David focused on God’s faithfulness, the source of his protection – I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand I will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).
- David’s response to God’s protection was gladness – Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay (Psalm 16:9-10).
- David recognized that happiness based on external circumstances was temporary, but joy based on God’s presence was eternal –You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:11).
This life is tough. It presents situations we don’t understand, trials that can rob us of hope and joy. In the midst of these circumstances may we, like David, place our trust in the one who has power over all. He is our hope. He is our God.
This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people (Hebrews 8:10).