Perspective; June 29, 2021

Psalm 102:12-13 But you, O Lord, sit enthroned forever;
your renown endures through all generations.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favor to her;
the appointed time has come.

This Psalm is interesting because it claims to be “a prayer of an afflicted man, when he is faint and pours out his lament to the Lord.” We have no idea who wrote it, nor the circumstances around it. In that sense, it could be called generic. The first 11 verses are both personal and really down, with no real hope in sight. However here, with that important word “but,” it really changes gears. From this point on through the end of the Psalm it is almost entirely focused on God and on the nation, rather than the writer’s personal distress. In that respect it is a good example for us. The more we are focused on our personal misery, the less likely we are to remember the magnificent grace of God. It is when we shift our perspective to look at God instead of ourselves that we can receive hope and peace. It’s not that we aren’t important and valuable to God, but rather that His plans are far bigger and broader than we can grasp, and we have to be at peace with that. We need to realize that God is in charge, not just of the nation or even of the world, but of all of creation. On that scale, we are like a single cell of our body, if that. Each cell is important, but the cells of our body are continually replaced, just as we are on this earth for a limited time. Rather than being upset because we aren’t in charge, we need to be grateful that God cares about us at all, when in fact, He even keeps count of the number of hairs on our head! (Luke 12:2) When we gain that perspective, it’s much easier to accept what Jesus told us just before His crucifixion: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I’m not sure how many years back John 16:33 really took root in my heart, but it was quite a while, and I’m very grateful. It helps me understand that my difficulties are no big deal! I certainly don’t want it to happen, but I could lose everything on the scale of Job and it wouldn’t change the magnificence and faithfulness of God one bit. I don’t expect disaster, but even if it happens, God is still God. I have read the Revelation to John many times, and the scenes it paints are often horrific, but the outcome is glorious. Many feel we are already in the events described there, and that could well be the case. It won’t be easy, but eternity will be more than worth it all! (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Father, thank You for this reminder. I’m too easily distracted from this truth! Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You told me to do, 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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