Trusting God; April 30, 2023

Psalm 91:2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

I have loved the musical setting of these first three verses for over 40 years, and in this case, familiarity has not bred contempt! This Psalm is anonymous, which in a sense makes it easier for anyone to claim as their own. It speaks of God’s protection, and verse 12 is what the devil quoted when he tried to get Jesus to display His power by jumping off the temple. Of course Jesus squashed that by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16 about not putting God to the test, (Luke 4:10-12) but that does indicate the importance of this Psalm. (That incident also indicates the importance of not “cherry picking” verses out of context, but that’s another discussion.) This verse tells us the foundation for the protection listed, and that is trust. I have long felt that trust was in some ways a better term for a right relationship with God than faith, because faith can be treated as something abstract and theoretical, whereas trust is immediate and practical. Verses three and six are very timely, with their mention of disease. The worst thing about the recent pandemic was the fear, even more than the actual death toll, and that fear was actively stoked by governments and media. Of course that was orchestrated by the devil, which is why such a big deal was made of the “infection cluster” that occurred at a choir practice in Washington State early on, to keep people from gathering to worship and especially praise God. That factor alone made it completely obvious to anyone with spiritual perception that the whole thing was demonic. The flip side of all of this is that there can be a fine line between trust and presumption. As Jesus responded to the devil, we aren’t to put God to the test for our own purposes. At the same time, God famously tells us to put Him to the test when it comes to tithing. (Malachi 3:10) Having enough faith to trust God to be true to His Word is certainly not sinful!

I have experienced this in various ways many times. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit only when I trusted God to be true to His promise to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. (Luke 11:13) I have experienced His provision when I stepped out in obedience to do what He said, even though the necessary resources were not at all visible. Throughout the pandemic we continued to hold worship services, going “online only” for just two weeks in early 2020, and we had no “cluster infections.” Cathy and I both had mild cases of COVID in late March, but we didn’t infect anyone else. A few times in my life I have apologized to God for keeping my guardian angel busy, but He has been more than gracious. I have had my times of “stepping out of bounds” so to speak, including breaking my wrist in January, but that in no way invalidates this Psalm. I am to walk in trust all the time, giving God the gratitude and praise He deserves.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your indeed all-sufficient grace. (2 Corinthians 12:9) May I walk in the obedience of love that is the only appropriate response to You, for 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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