Desiring a Psalm 71 perspective

Daily Readings: Judges 11-12, Mark 12, Psalm 71

As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.

My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.

Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God?
Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.

Psalm 71:14-21

My wife and I were sitting on the back porch recently talking about some of the questions I would love to ask God one day in Heaven. There are so many things I would love answers to. There are so many circumstance in life, in the world, and throughout the Bible where I would love to be able to sit across from God and ask, “Why did it have to unfold that way? What was the bigger picture reasoning there? Was that event from you for a purpose or was it simply something you allowed as the result of us living in a broken and fallen world?”

I think we have all probably been there. Two days later I came to Psalm 71.

God has a great way of speaking to us in the moment through his word when we choose to listen. It never ceases to amaze me.

My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.

I want this to be the unceasing posture of my heart. I want to be a person who praises God and tells of his righteous deeds regardless of whether or not I feel equipped with all the answers. I want to be singing his praises even if I cannot understand how to relate them all.

It is so natural as a Christian in our modern world to feel uneasy sharing what God has done in our lives because we feel the need to be able to articulately answer any question that might be thrown our way. The desire to be an expert has crippled so many potential evangelists. We want to be experts first and THEN we will share our faith with others around us. Contemplating what we might say when the tough questions come can be absolutely paralyzing.

Psalm 71 goes on to say:

Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.

This is one of the ever-present struggles that most Christians have relating to God’s ways. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why was this challenge put in my life or allowed in my life or in the lives of people I care about?

It can be so difficult in these tough times to remember that we have a Father in Heaven that will always restore. What we are going through, while extremely difficult at times, is temporary. God’s restoration will be eternal. His comfort will never end.

I want to live like Psalm 71.

I want to always have hope. I want to always praise him more and more. I want to tell of his marvelous deeds and declare his power to the next generation. I want the emotional strength and spiritual maturity to do all of this through all circumstances, not just the good. I know this level of perspective and spiritual maturity can only come from a deep, intimate, daily relationship with God. It is something we must desire so strongly that we are willing to pursue it the same way we pursue the other tangible desires of our heart.

It is worth the pursuit.

Thought to ponder

What has occasionally held me back from sharing the miraculous deeds of God, praising him more and more, and sharing him with the next generation?

But a breath…

Daily Readings: Numbers 9-10, Psalm 39

Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.

Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.

But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.

Psalm 39:4-7 

Reading passages like this one in Psalms is such a welcome and necessary reminder. The money we make and the things we acquire in this life are all so incredibly temporary. We are but a breath. However, with that breath we have all been given here on earth, we have also been given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others that, along with helping their lives here and now, will also last for an eternity!

The world needs more marketplace missionaries that are out there in the normal world realizing that their day-to-day journey is their mission field. It needs more people that embrace living in the moment, being truly present with the people around them, seeking to be a living example of God’s love here on earth, and remembering that their days are a mere breath; not more people rushing around focused primarily on moving into the next tax bracket and acquire the latest gadget.

David reminds us today that the wealth we heap up rushing around in vain will eventually be forgotten. A lifespan of 70, 80, 90, or even 100 years doesn’t even begin to give us even the slightest glimpse of eternity.

It is but a breath.

How will we use this brief life we are blessed with? If God could actually show you your days like David spoke about in Psalm 39, would you live more intentionally? Would you make the most of the little moments throughout the day instead of being consumed by stress, worry, or even consumed by success?

I want to always remember that this lifetime is but a breath. I want the mere breath that I have been given to have an impact on as many lives as possible that lasts for an eternity.

Thought to ponder

What causes you to occasionally rush around in vain instead of focusing your energy on the people in front of you and giving them the absolute best of yourself each and every day?

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