1 To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. 3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. (Psalm 25:1–3, NKJV)
David praised God with his whole being. God, who breathed into man the breath of life, is the one to whom we (like David) now present our entire being, both to praise Him, and to devote ourselves to His purposes. Faith in God compels us to offer our lives to Him. We trust Him with our lives, as we give ourselves to serving His purposes. God assures us that our faith is the victory that overcomes the world and its enemies of righteousness (1 John 5:4). Although life brings trials, they are only temporary. We keep our hope set on the Lord, and wait on His justice (see 2 Thessalonians 1:3-8). The enemies of holiness will be confounded, and reduced to shame, for fighting against God and His people. But, those who live by faith will not be brought to shame, but to eternal glory.
20 “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:20–21, NKJV)
Timothy was Paul’s “true son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). Paul charged this young evangelist with guarding the gospel that had been committed to his trust. Timothy would accomplish his task by turning away from base, empty chatter that contradicted the sound words of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:3-5). This charge continues to ring true. We must distinguish between teachings that are “falsely called knowledge, and what is actually “the faith” (the gospel of Christ). God’s word is a symphony of harmonious truth, not a discordant accumulation of opinions and human wisdom that passes for knowledge. Therefore, God’s preacher must preach God’s word, not the speculations, opinions, and traditions of men that lead souls away from the faith. What message is being preached by the preacher to whom you listen; the faith, or that which contradicts the Bible? It matters. Following the faith keeps you in God’s grace. Following contradictions of God’s word leads you astray from the faith, putting your soul in peril.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7–8, NKJV)
In contrast to the one who trusts in man (verses 5-6), the person who trusts and hopes in the Lord, is as a mighty tree, planted by the waters. Its roots grow deep and wide, nourished by the water and strengthened by its refreshment. It survives seasons of heat and drought, flourishing and bearing its good fruit. So are those who put their faith and hope in God. God is our Life-giver, who also sustains us through life’s trials and difficulties. And, more than physical sustenance, the Lord has prepared for us a better place than this world of shadows and sorrow. A heavenly dwelling place awaits all who put their trust and confident expectation in Jesus (John 14:1-6). Far from having blind faith, our eyes are wide open as we see from afar the heavenly country (Hebrews 11:13-16). Walk by faith. Trust the Lord, and rest your hope in Him.
5 Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.” (Jeremiah 17:5–6, NKJV)
The philosophy of secular humanism believes humans are the center of all things, and that from human beings will come the answers to our survival. The Humanist Manifesto II (1973) says, “As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity.” They are materialists, who deny we have immortal souls. Humanists believe “No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.” The humanist rejects God and trusts in himself and the strength of human reason and intelligence to save and sustain humanity. Such hearts have departed far from the Lord God. The secular humanist, who “makes flesh his strength,” is like a desert scrub brush, inhabiting a parched landscape of denial, doubt and death. Life becomes a spiritual wasteland when one rejects God, the Giver and Sustainer of life. Jesus refreshes the soul with truth and eternal life. We put our trust in Him and His power to save (John 7:37-39; 14:6).
9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. 10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:9–10, NKJV)
Shelter from the storm. A haven of rest for the weary. The Lord gives sanctuary to those who put their trust in Him, for they rely upon His great power to preserve and to protect them. His trustworthiness is unwavering; His relief is complete. Whatever storm of life you are facing today, make the Lord your refuge. Seek the Lord when the storm of sin roars against you; He will save you (Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 19:10). Seek His protection when you are oppressed by unrighteous people; He will help you endure (Hebrews 13:5-6). Seek His comfort when enemies of the faith harass you for the sake of righteousness; He will give you reason to rejoice (Matthew 5:10-12). The Lord does not abandon His people. He rewards those who “diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
1 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. (Psalm 63:1–2, NKJV)
God is not a fire escape when trouble comes into our lives. God is the One who fills up our longings and satisfies all our needs. God is not a place mat on the table of our lives – useful, but often forgotten until needed. God is the Supplier of everything that sustains us, body and soul. He is the One we seek and trust. Like David, let us seek God early and always. Our soul must long for God like the thirsty man in a hot, waterless desert. Worship is our refuge and relief. In worship, we adore His great power and honor His glorious name. In worship, we bow before the One in whom we rely for life, for mercy, and for salvation. How big is your God? Truly, He fills heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24). The pertinent question is, are you seeking God by trusting His word and obeying Him, so that He fills your life? “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).
22 Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him? 23 Who has assigned Him His way, Or who has said, ‘You have done wrong’? (Job 36:22–23, NKJV)
Sometimes people say, “Why should I trust God? What has he ever done for me?” Of course, God has done everything for us all (Acts 17:25). In today’s text, Elihu succinctly states four reasons for trusting God. We trust God because of His power and because of His knowledge. We also trust God because of His wisdom (no one counsels God on the way He should go). Finally, trust God because of His works (which are always righteous). God is sovereign over everyone and everything in the universe. That means God rules over us all. Honor His greatness and trust Him to accomplish His purposes. When your faith is tested (even as Job’s faith was tested long ago), do not grow weary and fall away. Renew your strength in the knowledge that God is over all and does all things well.