“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).
This verse sounds so beautiful, so comforting, so nice. I like it. I like it a lot.
And once you see the context in which this trust is uttered, you will like it even more. Here is the context:
Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack. My adversariespursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
The psalmist utters our verse of the day vowing his trust in God while being attacked by his adversaries. Death and betrayal is all around him. He’s not sure if he’s going to make it to the end of the day. Yet the psalmist declares: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
How? What is the source of such confident trust?
The character of God revealed in the Bible!
The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:33-37:
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
So, what are you going through today? Is there anything in the created universe that can separate you from the love of God?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
All love, no wrath. All grace, no judgment. All accepting, no rejecting. All mercy, no justice. All heaven, no hell.
Wow! What a god!
This is the god of our imaginations. This is the god of our own creation. And, this is the god most Americans believe in. To hear most Americans, no one ever goes to hell. Every person turns into an angel who looks down upon their loved ones from heaven.
Where did we get such an understanding?
The problem with all this is that it’s all a figment of our imaginations. Such a god does not exist in the world.
How do I know that? Because such a god doesn’t exist in the Bible.
Because God is loving, God pours out his wrath on evil. Because God is full of grace, judgment is paid by his sacrifice of the Son on the cross. Because God is accepting and has made a pathway for all sinners, God must reject those who refuse the gift of eternal life through his Son. Because God is merciful, God must punish evil. Because God couldn’t imagine an eternity without you in it, God sent his Son to die for us so that we might rise with him. God did all this because it is not his will that any one should perish in hell.
Wow! What a God!
That is the God of the Bible. His name is Jesus. He is the Savior of the world. Do you know him? Have you received him as Lord and Savior?
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15).
Floating on a cloud…playing a harp…sitting around…
Who even plays a harp?
Some picture this is what spending eternity in heaven will be like. How boring! No wonder few of us truly long and yearn for heaven.
I don’t know what heaven will be like, but I can tell you this is not heaven.
One of the clues for what heaven will be like comes from the verse of the day. God created the heavens and the earth and created Adam. After creating Adam, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, and this is where it gets interesting. God placed Adam in the Garden to work!
Work! Yup. Work.
Adam is in paradise. And the reason why Adam is in paradise is to work it and take care of it. You mean, Adam wasn’t in paradise just lounging around eating fruits? He was working?
You see, we are most fully alive and most fully who we are when we are doing what we were created for. You know why? That’s what we were created for!
You know the feeling you get after accomplishing something, making something, baking something.
Here’s the thing – you don’t have to wait until heaven to do what you were created for. You can start that right now. God created you with your particular gifts and passions so that God can use you to establish his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.