Psalm 103:8-9 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.
Lamentations 3:31-32 31 For the Lord will not reject forever, 32 For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness.
It has been a tumultuous two years! According to Merriam-Webster, “tumultuous” means “marked by a ‘tumult’” – which wasn’t helpful. “Tumult”, however, means “disorderly agitation or milling about of a crowd, usually with uproar and confusion of voices.”1 American culture in the last two years has been a tumult. The evangelical church has followed suit. I hope we can learn from these years with humble hindsight, so as to be ready for the future, inevitable, intensifying calamities.2
Thankfully, the Word of God helps us gain humble hindsight and hopeful foresight. Generations of God’s people have come and gone, and Scripture has recorded their failures and successes. It has captured the purposes of God through the course of history. The prophets have championed God’s faithfulness through the ebb and flow of His judgments and deliverances. On a small scale, we see this dynamic in the Book of Judges – judgment and deliverance.3 On a larger scale, these waves have swelled in God’s dealings with the nations4 and His covenant people5. In fact, Scripture would commend us to understand all of history this way – as pulsing according to the sovereign plan of God.
Our own individual times are in His hands as well.6Ecclesiastes 3:1-10 reminds us of the appointed times of life: both of adversity and blessing. However, we also know that God’s special grace towards the believer is working all things together for good!7 And so, as Jeremiah surveys a destroyed Jerusalem, he can say, “This I recall to my mind, and therefore I have hope…the LORD is good to those who wait for Him…It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.”8He knows that salvation will come! Also, David can write, “As for man, his days are like grass…But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him.” For each person who walks with God, there is always a bright horizon. God will be good. God will deliver. He will never fail! His mercies are new towards us every morning. Therefore, we can hope, and even rejoice. We can say to ourselves, “Bless the Lord, O my soul…bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits.”10 To remember those “benefits” puts our souls in the proper frame.
As we emerge (hopefully) from a two-year tumult, let’s pray and hope for an outpouring of God’s blessing and renewal. Let’s pray for a spirit of humility and repentance in our country before the Sovereign God – who afflicts, but who also heals. Let us do our part, as His covenanted people, to look to Him. His faithfulness is great. He is worthy of our confident hope.
Thanks! See you Sunday,
1Merriam-Webster online dictionary
2 Matt. 24:8; Mark 13:8 “beginning of birth pangs”
3 Judges 2:15, 16, 18
4 Consider His dealing with Assyria (Jonah 3:4,10; Jer. 18:7-10; Ezekiel 31:3, 10-11; Isa. 19:23)
5 Ezekiel 39:25-29; et. al.
6 Psalm 31:15
7 Romans 8:28
8 Lamentation 3:20-26*
9 Psalm 103:9-11; 15-18