Trusting God isn’t easy. It is a phrase I write with fear and trembling. I’ve seen firsthand what trusting God looks like. When people sing songs about trusting God in church…when the music is all major chords, and people all around declaring confidently that they’ll trust God with everything, there is a part of me that shudders and wonders if they’ve really thought what “everything” means. I’ve seen people lose loved ones, take punishing losses in their bodies, suffer abuse, suffer mental illness, suffer any number of things, and so have you…and we have suffered ourselves.
How can the psalmist so confidently write, “happy is everyone who trusts in you” (the very ending line of the psalm) when trusting God can be the very thing that leads you into danger in the first place? Many of our own trainees and trainers, brothers and sisters, have suffered terribly because they declare their faith in God.
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, indeed faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God[…]Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.”
The Hebrew word for happiness is much deeper than our own. It is a lasting happiness. The psalmist is happy because he/she is with God! God’s presence is what we all long for as Christians, from the depths of our souls where the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
“Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the valley of Baca [weeping] they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength”
Here we have a promise, that though we walk through a valley of weeping, if our strength is in God, our very places of wounding will become a place of refreshment, of springs of water.
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.”
No good thing? What about that healing? That safety? That peace? So many times in our lives whether because of the assault of the evil one or people filled with hatred, terrible things have happened.
I do not fully understand this, and nor do I believe that I ever will in this life. But I do know that this is a psalm written in view of God’s presence, in comparison with the importance of which, everything else fades.
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.”
We, God’s beloved, filled with His Spirit, will not be abandoned, will not be defeated by the many things; sicknesses, people, even demons, that oppress us in this life.
We will live not just one day in the courts of our God, but all days forever. And this future truth begins now. The streams of water promised in the valley of weeping–the Living God within us.