For Christians this is a matter of reality. It is a recognition of God’s eternal reality for those who believe in him, who live in accord with his commandments.
“I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17
“I shall not die, but I shall live…” This is a pure and powerful statement of faith. For Christians this is a matter of reality. It is a recognition of God’s eternal reality for those who believe in him, who live in accord with his commandments.
Like the psalmist, we recognize that we are surrounded by those who wish us harm, and though we are often hard pressed by them from many sides, we are not alone. “The Lord is my strength and my song, he has become my savior.” (verse 14) This is the great truth of our faith in God. He is not a distant God, rather, he is always present to us personally. Though we may be pushed hard by our detractors, even to the point of falling, he will be our help. We can trust his fidelity.
Have we not sought refuge in the Lord in times of trouble and felt his saving presence? Has he not upheld us often in our times of greatest need? Jesus came into the world at the appointed time, for the world was in need of the salvation. Jesus won that salvation from sin and death on the cross. He won it for all of humanity, past, present and future. But this is not just a generic truth, it is true for each one of us personally. We must not forget this. Yes, salvation is universal, but it is also personal. Because of Jesus Christ we can confidently repeat the words of the psalmist in a way that he could only hope for, “I shall not die, but I shall live…”
That we need salvation is a truth each one of us knows in the depths of our own hearts. For we are not strangers to weakness. Have we not, on many occasions, experienced being, “pushed hard to the point that we felt ourselves falling?” (verse 13) Have we not, in our fear and desperation, cried out to the Lord and felt his strength, his saving graces, lifting us up again? We can truly put our trust in the Lord, and he will come to our aid. This is where the final clause of today’s verse comes to play. Because of Jesus, we not only will not die, but we will live to boldly, “recount the deeds of the Lord” to the world in the confidence of faith. We will joyfully do this because, like the psalmist, we have experienced God’s love and mercy. With the psalmist we can say, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy is steadfast and his love endures forever.” (verse 1)
Lord, let us never forget your love and mercy for us. Help us to know your saving presence in our lives at all times, and in all circumstances. In you alone do we find our strength and our salvation. We pray with all our hearts that you give us the courage to honor you by living good Christian lives that openly proclaim your love and your mercy to our families, to our friends, and to all those we encounter throughout our day. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!
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