Naming Names and Pushing Back

20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. Psalm 71:20-21

The philosopher Nietzsche once stated, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” David’s words here were written well before Nietzsche lived but there’s a similar sentiment in it, that is, with a twist.

David is naming names!

He is saying that even though he knows that God will restore his life again, he also knows that what he has experienced was by God’s divine providence (story of Job comes to mind). Yes, it would make him stronger in the end and his honor would be increased, but getting to that point was filled with troubles.

Most of us can recall a time where we felt like the whole world was against us. Some may be experiencing that right now. Continue to “push back” on Him. He knows what you’re going through because it’s perhaps by his divine providence that you’re going through it! Don’t be afraid to keep pushing it back on Him.

Thirty years ago I went through Air Force survival school. In one “interrogation” setting, we were told to sit on a pointy chair, which was the only chair in the room. Our objective as ones being interrogated was to solve the immediate problem (the pointy chair) before anything else could be solved. No other questions could be answered until the problem was solved. After all, how could you possibly answer questions about name and rank and mission if you’re sitting on an extremely uncomfortable chair? Surprisingly, because of the setting we were in, it took a long time for many of us to realize the obvious: make our problem their problem.

Push back that which you’re going through until it’s resolved. It’s on your mind 24/7 so bring it as often. Pushing back does two things: it always keeps Him on your mind, and you begin to make your problem His problem.

Indeed

19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? Psalm 71:19

It’s perhaps the question that, if asked, demands an answer that no one can provide. There is no one like God. Nothing is like God. We will be astounded by the majesty and glory of almighty God. As Paul said, “we see a glass darkly.”

Bottom line is this, we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know the riches or the depths of God’s love. It’s bottomless. That’s why it’s amusing to hear scientists proclaim that they can now see the end of the universe. To which God says, “Oh yeah? Give it a few years and you’ll see beyond the end of that universe.”

We are amazed at seeing a glimpse of the glory of God here on earth in this life. On that wonderful day, we won’t know how to describe what we see and hear and experience. I suspect we will be speechless just trying to take it all in.

Who is like you, God?

Passing the Mantle

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18

My generation certainly has a challenge ahead of us: We are to pass down what we know to the next generation of Believers. How do we do that in the time we have left?

It starts and ends with faithfulness. As I’ve stated in many posts, people are watching us. The next few generations are watching us closely.

  • They want to know that what we believe is worth believing in.
  • They want to know that our deeds are matching our words.
  • They want to see us love our spouses the way we should.
  • They want to see a faithfulness to God that is unmatched.
  • I also believe they want to see that those in the church are different than those outside the church.

Essentially as we live our Christian lives, we are teaching them about our faith. Of course we may have opportunity to “pass the mantle” on to them through teaching and instruction, and we should do that, but I am certain they will learn much of what we truly need to teach them through our faithful actions.

I Declare

I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Psalm 71:16-17

Mighty acts. Righteous deeds. Marvelous deeds. What are they? How do we recognize them?

These are acts that God alone can perform.

The forces of nature.

A child forming in the womb.

The universe.

Changed lives.

Healed relationships.

Missionaries to all parts of the earth.

The list goes on.

While some of those acts have a human element to them, it is ultimately God in the background making it all happen.

Think of one way you can proclaim one of these deeds this week, and then do it!

Saving Acts

My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long — though I know not how to relate them all. Psalm 71:15

Every day of the year, the Good News of Jesus Christ is changing lives around the world. You don’t hear about them and probably never will because they live in remote corners of the earth. Each of those lives is testament to the power and glory of God in very ordinary people. But as those new Believers grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, they talk about what has happened to them. They are spreading the truth about His righteous deeds. Sometimes, because of where they live, reaching out to others puts their lives in danger.

So even though we in the West don’t see miracle after miracle right before our eyes, God is continuing to change lives.

Continue to pray that the Spirit of God will continue to minister in and through the lives of dedicated Believers. And then, ask Him how you can be a part of that action!