Saturday, May 7, 2016

"In spite of what you see ... JESUS is on the throne!"

Day #129

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 9 - 11 …

"The LORD reigns forever!" (9:7).  What comforting words to those who know who "the LORD" is … the God of creation, the great "I AM!"  How important is it to you that there is one true God, that you know Him and that He reigns over all things - for your good and for His glory?  How would your life be different if that were not true?

Living in this world today causes many to question what we who believe the Bible say is true.  Because they do not have the Spirit within them, those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, who do not accept the Bible as the Word of God, and who are focused only on what people are doing reject the testimony we bring that our God reigns, that He is in control over the rulers and nations of the world around us.  They believe that what we proclaim is simply our opinion, nothing more.  Attempting to explain these truths to someone who is spiritually dead and expecting them to understand leads to frustration.  You must continually pray that God would open their hearts and minds by His Spirit, for unless He does, they will remain not so blissfully ignorant, and apart from God’s grace to you and me, so would we!

We've already seen in the Psalms that David and the other writers of the Psalms express the raw emotion of life in this world.  Yet, in spite of what they see, they continually point to a God who is righteous and just, who is ruling over the affairs of men.  Psalm 9 once again points out the contrast between those whom the Lord has declared righteous and those who are wicked.  There are two distinct groups of people in the world today, as there have always been:  those who know the true God and who by faith in the Savior believe in forgiveness and eternal life as a gift from God, and those who reject God, who reject the Bible as His Word and who reject Jesus as the Savior.  "You have blotted out their name for ever and ever" (9:5).

People who do not believe in the one true God who reveals Himself in His creation, in His Word and in His Son Jesus Christ live without hope because they only see what people are doing.  How much better to sing God's praises and to rejoice in the Lord, knowing, believing that He reigns.  He is God, and there is no other.  Only when you KNOW that can you look at every day as an opportunity to serve Him, to endure trials and to overcome by His power, and to testify that HE is God.  “I will praise You, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.  I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your Name, O Most High!” (9:1-2).  Rejoicing in the LORD and praising Him brings joy and peace because you are confessing what is true ... in spite of what you see!!

Incredibly, many miss the fact that the central theme of the entire Bible is the kingdom of God and His reign over all things.  So David declares repeatedly through the songs he writes, “The LORD reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment.  He will judge the world in righteousness; He will govern the people with justice” (9:7-8).  He prays what God has promised will one day soon come true:  “Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in Your presence.  Strike them with terror, O LORD; let the nations know they are but men!” (9:19-20).  The arrogance of men will soon be extinguished by the pouring out of God’s wrath prior to the return of Jesus Christ, who will rule over the nations with a rod of iron!

There will be times like Psalm 10, when it seems as though the LORD is standing far off - just watching while evil goes from bad to worse.  “Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?  Why do you hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (10:1).  There will be times when you pray, "Arise, LORD!  Lift up your hand, O God!" (10:12).  Yet, even then, you and I are called to testify, “But You, O God, do see trouble and grief; You consider it to take it in hand. ... The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from His land” (10:14,16).  God is faithful to His promises and His people.

Where else can you go to find comfort and assurance but to the One who reigns from His throne in heaven, to whom God has now given all authority, in heaven and on earth?  Yes, Jesus IS on the throne and He WILL come to reign!!  So, "in the LORD I take refuge" (11:1).  Is that where you are finding refuge?  When the storms come, when faced with trials, when you are feeling overwhelmed, where do you go?  Do you panic?  Do you turn to the distractions of the world and indulge yourself in self-pity or try to "drown your sorrows" in some worthless activity?

David asks, "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (11:3).  The answer:  "The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD is on His heavenly throne" (11:4).  We can declare the truth that in spite of what we see, "Our God reigns!"  God has not forgotten those who trust in Him.  The foundations of our nation are being destroyed today, from outside the church and from within.  But the LORD is still in His holy temple … He dwells with His people.  His Spirit lives within us.  "Greater is He that is in US, than he that is in the world" (I John 4:4).  Judgment WILL come, sooner rather than later, but "upright men will see His face" (11:7).

Those who are "upright" are not those who are perfect, for then none of us would qualify, but rather, those who seek the LORD, who trust in Him by faith in His Son Jesus Christ, and who desire to love, honor and obey HIM, our God.  For these, for you and me, faith means trusting our God and living for Him no matter what our circumstances.  HE is our Rock, our Fortress, our Shield, our Defender, our Deliverer, our Refuge, our Savior … and so much more.  REST in Him today and do not allow the wicked to overcome you, to discourage you or to cause you to fear.  When the foundations are being destroyed … JESUS is still on the throne!!

"My Father and my God, help me today to trust in You.  I see evil all around me and I know that without You I would be among the wicked.  I entrust myself to You, confessing my sin, trusting in Your forgiveness and desiring that my life may be a light in the darkness, pointing others to You.  I praise You for revealing Yourself to me and I thank You for Your faithfulness!  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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