May 11, 2016

Psalm 39:7-8 But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.

It is always interesting to be struck by verses I had not previously underlined. David has just been talking about the brevity of human life on earth, and here we see his response to that reality. I love the way the Japanese expresses verse seven: “Now, Lord, what shall I wait in hope for? You are my hope.” He then goes on to acknowledge his sinfulness, asking to be saved and not to be made the scorn of fools, that is, those who say there is no God. (Psalm 14:1) It is no wonder David has been held up as an example to all believers, despite his very real failures. God isn’t pleased with formal religion, He is pleased with hearts that turn to Him in humility and faith. (Isaiah 57:15 and many more) This world can get pretty hopeless at times, but when God Himself is our hope, we can get through anything. However, we cannot be presumptuous, but rather repent immediately of sin and walk in the humble assurance of His grace.

I think the current state of America has been most damaging to my hope recently. It certainly looks like America is coming under God’s judgment, and that we could well be fully into the narrative described in Revelation. However, even if that is the case, or especially if that is the case, I should be filled with hope, because God Himself is my hope, and not any human system, political or otherwise. It is sad indeed that such a large percentage of Americans are enthusiastic supporters of manifestly ungodly politicians, of both major parties, but that is sad, not hopeless. My hope is not in a resurgence of America, but in the establishment of the Kingdom of God. That will not come by political means or even by religious means, if religion is defined as human activity. Rather, it will happen by the sovereign will of God, through His children who are fully submitted to Him. I need to be sure of my submission, of my focus, so that I will be useful to Him rather than in the way. I must not define in my mind what He is to do, and so miss what He actually is doing. I want my life to be a testimony and not a laughingstock, so that as many as will may join me in God’s kingdom.

Father, thank You for Your grace and for Your faithfulness. Thank You that when You are truly my hope I have absolutely nothing to fear. Help me stand against every temptation to anxiety but trust You completely, so that all of Your plans for me may be fulfilled, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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