1–7 February 2015.
In Luke 23:46, Jesus prays the words of Psalm 31 as his final prayer: “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (v.5). For Christians, this whole psalm is a good reminder to us that we can place our whole lives into God’s hands.
The writer tells us about all the persecution he is suffering, how everyone is rejecting him, abusing him, and hurting him. So many of us have had the same experiences. But in this situation, the writer bravely places both his life and his trust into God’s hands. Other people trust in worthless idols, he tells us, but “as for me, I trust in the Lord” (v.6). God is our refuge, our rescuer, our rock, our fortress (vv.1–4). That’s why we can place our trust in him. Because he is our fortress, we can find rest in him, because he is our saviour, we know that he will “set our feet in a spacious place” (v.8).
Of course, many people think it’s foolish to stay righteous and trust in God. After all, we have a saying in English that “Nice guys finish last”, that good people get taken advantage of and lose out in life. That’s why many people think power, anger, pride, and wickedness are better defences, because in this world the wicked and the violent so often seem to win while the good suffer.
So the writer begs God not to disappoint him now: “Let me not be put to shame, Lord, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame” (v.17). The writer prays that God will turn upside down the normal way of the world where the wicked win. And in Jesus this is what happens. In Jesus, the last are now first, and the ones that the world places first are finally pushed to the end. So “be strong and take heart” now (v.24), and place your trust in God this week.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis