Redemption; August 18, 2022

Psalm 31:5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth.

The first half of this is famous as one of the last things Jesus spoke from the cross, (Luke 23:46) but where the NIV renders the last half as a request, the Japanese gives it as a statement of past fact: “I yield my spirit into Your hands; You have redeemed me.” I kind of like that. It is when we have assurance of Jesus’ redemption that we are able to yield ourselves to Him. I think a lot of people have trouble trusting God for the future because they don’t grasp how much He has already done for them. It’s like Paul said: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) Until we realize how utterly without hope we were without Christ, and then realize that God has given His Son to rescue us from that situation, we will have trouble trusting Him with all the difficulties we encounter in this life. God is incredibly patient with us, so we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. After all, Jesus chided even His 12 apostles for their lack of faith! (Matthew 8:26 and several more) One of our most important tasks on this earth is learning how much God loves us and how much He has done for us, because when we grasp that, we will be totally fearless.

I have had a fairly high level of assurance of God’s love from my childhood, but I have had some trouble with grasping just how essential that was for me. I am all too prone to take God’s love for granted, not understanding on the deepest level that it is grace indeed, and not anything I deserve. That said, I have very little fear of the future. The devil goes overtime trying to make us afraid, and it doesn’t matter much of what. In the recent pandemic, the fear of it has been much worse than the virus itself. Young people who had virtually zero risk of death from the virus committed suicide because of the social isolation and the pervasive fear-mongering. I am to be strong and at peace in my knowledge of God and seek to share that knowledge with as many as will receive it. My knowledge and my faith certainly aren’t perfect, but they’re growing, and God is faithful. I am to share what I have been given, for the blessing of others and for God’s glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the treasure trove of letters Cathy found yesterday that remind us of how Your plans for us were set long before we were born, and they are good. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in that assurance, sharing it with all who will receive it, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

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