Once when King David was being chased and threatened he asked this question, “Who can show us any good,” (Ps 4:6)? This is a question for all ages, for though there have been great changes in society, they are but surface changes; underneath the same human nature exists. It’s true, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Take three examples: Those who are successful, those in the middle, and those who fail. Successful people who have obtained all the world can offer, in the end can be heard saying, “Who can show us any good?” Then those who always seem to fail; trial after trial, effort after effort, but always they are beaten, until at last heartbroken the say, “Who will show us any good?” Is not the same cry heard from those in the middle? It is worth our attention that people in all circumstances ask the same question. This fact suggest an underlying problem which is independent of circumstances.
The Psalmist answers our question, “Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety,” (6b-8). If you are restless, sleepless, crying out in agony, asking if life is worth living, and who can show us any good? The reason for the question is that you have lost touch with God.
Get back to God,
In response to Satan’s temptation to turn stones into bread Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus knows there is more to a person than physical needs; there is the spiritual too.
One of our responsibilities is to recognize the mysteries and yearnings of our life. The Greek philosopher agreed for he said, “Man, know thyself first.” Once a person knows the mysteries and yearnings of their life, what then? I would say it is their responsibility to yield to the ruler-ship of Him to whom life was conquered by – Jesus.
The 139th Psalm begins, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar,” (1-2). Now look how that Psalm ends, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” (23-24). The Psalmist asked God to search him. Make that the first, supreme, and essential business of your life to acquaint yourself with Jesus, and so be at His peace, and so find the meaning of life.
Most Americans no longer attend church, but most believe in the return of Jesus Christ, so there is interest in the apocalypse. Apocalyptic literature is about the end times. Simply explained: One day God will come and rid the world of evil and set up His eternal kingdom. When stated this simply we see the relevance of the apocalyptic chapters of Daniel today, for we live in a, “Present evil age” (Gal 1:4), from which we look to God for deliverance.
Dan 7:13 reads, “One like a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven” (13). Who is this cloud rider? The psalmist says he is God, “Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds,” (68:4), and, “He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind,” (104:3).
When Jesus was on earth He taught the Kingdom of God was at hand. After ascending into heaven God enthroned Him above all creation, and the Kingdom of God began. At the apocalypse Jesus will return on the clouds, (Rev 1:7). Therefore, the cloud rider is also Jesus. In the end God wins, and if you know Jesus Christ personally you win too.
Victory in Jesus,
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Ps 139:7-12).
Our God Reigns,
The psalmist wrote, “We took sweet counsel together” (Ps 55:14). Do we know what the word counsel means anymore? What caused me to ask such a question comes from an incident my wife and I witnessed at a restaurant. As we were eating our attention was drawn to a young couple on a date. She was beautiful in dress and appearance; he managed to put on some clothes. What caught our attention was how the young man was absorbed through their entire meal with his phone and missed the presence of his beautiful date. The scene spoke to me of how connected to the world we have become, yet we no longer seek the counsel of each other, or God.
The psalmist said, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). A beautiful thought not realized anymore. We no longer take the time to seek God’s sweet counsel, for we don’t have the time, inclination or belief that God hears, cares, or answers. We are so connected to the world that we miss the beauty of God’s counsel.
Be still and seek his counsel. Discover God is speaking to you, but not through any mechanical contrivance or priestly intervention.
The Bible teaches the whole of human personality is that of spirit and flesh. One of the forty-seven verses that teach this dualism is Ps 63:1, “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You.” Of our two parts which one is more important?
If the flesh is more important to one’s life then one spends their life minding the things of the flesh. Such a life is limited, near-sighted, and deaf to the voices of eternity, for every attempt to satisfy the flesh ends with a thirst for more; a burning desire with no satisfaction.
The person of the spirit recognizes their finality is not dust, but that God has wrapped their eternal spirit in a temporal shell, and when the temporal is gone the spirit goes on. Therefore, fulfillment in life comes from answering the call of the spirit.
What do you think of death? If you live for the flesh you should be afraid, for at death your spirit passes into eternity unclothed with its unquenchable desires of the flesh. If you live for the spirit you are not afraid, for you step off this mortal ball clothed in Christ and enter into God’s eternity.
Jesus said, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). Interesting contrasts: Love life and lose it; hate life and keep it.
The verse contains truths that are hard to perceive unless one understands how the word hate is being used. Jesus’ point is not that we are to hate our life, but instead our love for God is so much greater then the love of our own life, that the love for our own life looks like hate.
Here is a biblical truth: To have life one must surrender their life to God. God in return gives one a worthy life. The question arises within us, “Can I trust God with my life in this way? David, who was not a novice to trusting God, said, “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Ps 55:22).
Let go and trust Him,