To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust;

let me not be put to shame;

let not my enemies exalt over me.

Psalm 25: 1, 2

 

Trust is a part of our everyday lives. We place a form of trust in many things that we encounter along the way. This all starts when we climb out of bed in the morning and trust that the floor beneath our feet will hold our weight today, and it continues in like manner throughout the day. We also trust in institutions such as banks and governments, and for most of us, people form the most significant of categories of recipients of our trust. Yet, the trust that David describes here is even greater than all of that above. He trusts God with the care, the protection, and the nurture of his most precious of possessions, his soul.

 

Like David, I have no doubt that God cares about and for me totally. His presence is real in ways that go beyond and that are more deeply seated than any other reality that I experience. Yet, life has a way of throwing curves my way. Not everything makes sense, and many events and situations arise that bring about a form of disorientation and that cause me to momentarily lose sight of God’s presence and His purpose for my life. I think that these are the sorts of times that David is concerned about when he speaks about God providing protection from shame and the triumphal dance of his enemies. Although I, too, share his plea for God’s mercy and protection, I am fully aware of the fact that Christ has fully secured those things for me. I am saved, and I am free!

 

My soul is secure in the care of Christ who stands before the Father and proclaims the innocence that He gained for me on the cross. In light of my Lord’s great gift to me and His immense sacrifice for me, how can I not trust Him absolutely? Yet, in the moment and under the duress of life’s struggles, I do doubt, and I do allow shame and guilt to hold me captive. However, even in these times of my wandering away from God’s peace and joy, Christ is close at hand. In fact, it is in these darkest of days that the glory of my Lord provides those first glimmers of the light that leads me back into that soul-deep peace that comes from trusting God, and His presence warms the chill out of my heart. Like David, Lord I do trust you with my soul.

 

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.

2 Peter 1: 3

 

Christ is a giver of gifts. He is a very generous one, too. The presents that He hands out to His followers are the most valuable of all things that are found in the universe. They are the gifts that come from God, the Father, and they are given to us without reservation, reserve, or condition beyond our commitment to love and to follow Christ. These are the gift of life, and its companion, the gift of living life in a righteous and a meaningful manner.

 

The life that God gives to His people comes through Christ, and it is only possible because of His power. In Christ we live in the presence of God, and we become citizens of His kingdom. This earthly and spiritual domain is our new home. It is a place where God’s rule of law is supreme and in which His Word is the standard for all aspects of life. God’s law is above and beyond that of man in that it is just, merciful, fair, and certain. God rules His kingdom from the perspective of love and with the goal of restoration of relationship as His primary objective. The Kingdom of God is a holy nation of peace.

 

However, peace is not what is always apparent on its surface. This world does not readily accept Christ as its Lord and is also reluctant to enter into His salvation. So, the peace of God’s land is found mostly in the spirits of its citizens. It is expressed in our ability to live with certainty, confidence, and hope in times of struggle and grief. This peace of God is gained as we, His people, yield ourselves to Christ and empty ourselves of our own human strength so that His greater power can fill us to the top with the magnificent gifts that God desires to grant to us. The strange and wonderful quality that this life of submission and surrender gives to us is that it is a life that is filled with excellence and is covered with the glory of Christ.

Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous.

Psalm 118: 15

 

As we are in Christ, we should be a noisy bunch of people. For the sounds of our joyous faith can fill the air of our neighborhoods with the sensations of a sweet celebration of life party. So, let’s all fill our tents with the raucous celebratory shouts, songs, and dancing of those who have been released from the bondage of sin and death. We are people whose hearts have been set free and whose lives are filled with the real meaning of living in close friendship and in true relationship with God.

 

In Christ we can and we should be lifting our voices to heaven and telling the whole world about His eternal love. We can shout out choruses that speak about the amazing ways that God takes our worthlessness and our shame and turns it into something that is priceless beyond all comparison. This is the God who leads us to the best life possible, and this is the God who brings healing and wholeness to our broken bodies and our shattered souls.

 

Every day can be lived as a song of praise. The world that we touch should walk away from an encounter with us with the feeling that it has just attended a concert of the angels as the Lord’s song cries out from every pore of each redeemed being. Like the sweetest of incense it fills the room with the perfume of salvation. As we make expressions of thanksgiving and praise the lyric of this day, we can fill the canyons and the mountain tops of our world with Christ’s joyous salvation poem.