Salvation always implies misery of one kind or another. Joyous moments and happy situations we want to keep. But out of discomforts and sufferings whether light or severe we want to be lifted. This explains the words of the psalmist in Psalm 119:81, 82, where we read: "My soul fainteth for Thy salvation: but I hope in Thy word. Mine eyes fail for Thy word, saying, When wilt Thou comfort me?"
The exact situation of the psalmist we do not know, although in broad lines we do read that he had afflictions (verse 75), and that enemies dealt perversely with him (verse 78). But we do well to note from verse 75 that he acknowledges that God afflicted him through these enemies, and that He did so in faithfulness. He is not finding fault with God. He reveals clearly that he is convinced that God will save him out of his afflictions.
Two truths we should note and make our own. The psalmist speaks of God's salvation, and he reveals implicit trust in God's promises to deliver him. This our versification also clearly states in these words:
My soul for Thy salvation faints;
But still I hope in Thee;
I long to see Thy promised help,
When Thou shalt comfort me.
All too often we rule God out, or at least forget to run to Him with our problems. We forget that salvation, whether it be from a physical woe, or a spiritual condition, always comes from God and comes only from Him. He uses means and creatures; but He saves and comforts us. We forget that He promised in His word to work all things together for our good. The cross of Christ and the amazing love of God displayed in it we so often brush aside.
When miseries seem about to crush us in losses of loved ones through the cold hand of death; when prolonged and painful illnesses besiege our bodies, and the world torments and ridicules us; we must hope in God's word of promise. We may with the psalmist wonder when God will save us; but we must never doubt that He will keep His promise to do so.
Our eyes may fail for God's word in the sense that they do not see the fulfillment. But never, no never, doubt, but hope with expectation.
Read: Psalm 119:73-88
Psalter versification: #331:1
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #320
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
Job 16 ; Job 17 ; Job 18 ; Job 19:1-29
I Corinthians 16:1-24
Quote for Reflection:
James Montgomery Boice: "You may think that you are different from Lot. But if you have put your job ahead of your family’s spiritual life, if you have put your social advancement ahead of a proper association with God’s people, if you have let your choice of a home keep you from a church in which you can grow in faith and worship—you have moved from the highlands to the plain of the Jordan. I know you will say that you can serve God there as well as at Bethel. Lot would have said, ‘I am as eager as you to serve the Lord. After all, the cities of the plain need witnesses too.’ That was true; they did. But Lot’s heart was not in witnessing. He was doing nothing for God. His heart was set on his possessions, sophistication, and glamour, and for that he lost everything."
- Date: 25-August