Sep 28, 2012

Peace and Rest on Every Side

Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? You have allowed me to suffer much hardship and severe troubles, but You WILL restore me and revive my life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You WILL restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. Psalm 71:19-21

The psalmist had seen 'great and severe troubles' (Ps. 71:20). Yet hovering in the back of his mind was the thought that God would 'revive' him again. The literal meaning of this phrase is 'bring him to life again.' He elaborated: 'You shall bring me up again from the depths of the earth [the grave]. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side' (vs 20-21). If the troubles didn’t end in this life, certainly in heaven they would.

This thought - that someday we shall be in God’s presence and enjoy Him forever - crowns many of the psalms and is an assurance that helps life’s present troubles fade away (see Ps. 16,17,49,73).

Perhaps no one but God knows the trouble you've seen, but this is not all that shall be. Someday, your Father will 'increase your greatness' - you will be clothed with unspeakable glory. There will be comfort 'on every side.' His presence and love will bring perfect peace and rest.

The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as He had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer all their enemies. Joshua 21:44

Richard Baxter once wrote, 'O what a blessed day that will be when I shall stand on the shore and look back on the raging seas I have safely passed; when I shall review my pains and sorrows, my fears and tears, and possess the glory which was the end of all. When all my labors and trials are over, and I am safe on that beautiful shore, just to be near the dear Lord I adore will through the ages be glory for me.'

Father, I pray that You wipe our tears away and cause our sorrows to give way to comfort. Defeat our enemies, put them to shame. Draw us close to You and help us to depend on You. Give us peace and rest on every side. In Jesus' name, amen.