I haven’t met a true disciple of Jesus who didn’t want to please him. A ravished heart makes a committed disciple. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about three servants and their ability to steward what was entrusted to them. Often referred to as the Parable of the Talents (or Coins), this story illustrates the importance of both kingdom stewardship and trusting God and his promises. To the servant who received five talents or coins, he wisely invested them and earned two more. To that, Jesus responds,
Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Matt. 25:23 NKJV
As I shared last week in my Psalm 91 discussion, God offers many promises of his presence, protection, and provision (to name a few) throughout the Bible. But one’s ability to appropriate the benefits of his promises are tied to one’s ability to believe and act in faith upon those promises. True biblical faith acts upon what God has revealed—confidently!
To be clear, we are not “performing” to earn praise from God, rather we seek to follow Jesus confidently in a turbulent world in order to impact it with his love and power to see many become disciples of our savior. As disciples of Christ, we are all growing and discovering (through our successes and failures) how to abide “Under His Shadow” and trust him confidently.
If you fail or fail to trust God’s promise to you, know, as the old saying goes, “God uses people who fail—because there aren’t any other around!” Faith-filled people realize that a setback is merely a “bump in the road” with God. Your failure is an opportunity for El Shaddai to reveal his greatness through your life. Keep in mind that God is already in your future working all things together for your good!
Let’s continue our look at Psalm 91 and its promises offered this week. As I’ve shared the past couple of weeks, I believe 2019 is a year to face challenges confidently, trusting God’s promises completely. As believers, we can confidently abide in God and his promises irrespective of uncertainties we face. 2019 is a year to remain confident in God and his Word, and I believe Psalm 91 gives us some key principles and promises to trust God through the challenges of life.
The Promises of Psalm 91
Did you know that you can feel secure always, through all of life’s situations, even in “unknown territory?” Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and his desire is to impart his peace, the establishment of his rule, and his government in our souls. His peace, ruling in our hearts, is greater than trouble that surrounds us, which enables us to remain secure through the ups and downs of life. Jesus simply said:
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV
Consider that when Jesus told the first disciples this truth, there was severe political oppression, religious oppression, and there were disasters, hardships, and suffering for most of humanity. If the promise of his peace was true then, we can be confident that the promise of his peace is still true today as we follow him.
You can be confident of God’s peace in your life because you have been “made right” or justified with God through your faith in Jesus. Paul declares in Romans:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom. 5:1 NKJV
Through our faith in Christ, the saving power of Christ’s death and resurrection make it possible for us to have peace with God. As devoted followers of Jesus, we don’t have to fear judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). Jesus is completely loved and accepted by the Father, and so are you and I as his disciples.
His indwelling life and character are now available to us through the Holy Spirit to help us learn to abide in the peace of God. God’s peace, or shalom, in your life is evidence of the rule of Christ in your heart.
The same peace Jesus had during the storms is the same peace available to you and I as we live in him. Consider in Mark 6, Jesus tells the disciples to “Go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee” while he goes up on the mountain to pray. They encounter a storm while on the lake, and suddenly Jesus comes walking on water to them and says,
Take courage, it is I, don’t be afraid!” Mark 6:50 NIV
The water calms and when they get to the other side of the lake with Jesus, everyone from the surrounding region come to him for healing and deliverance. You see, God will often lead us into situations that will be contrary to our reasoning or understanding; he knows the intended outcome! But we must remain secure in him as we follow him to accomplish his purposes. Psalm 91 confirms the security and peace we can walk in as God’s people.
Psalm 91 promises us that we will experience the fullness of salvation as we faithfully trust in and follow God—both now and through eternity. God gives an eternal view of life that keeps you steady through every season. Consider what Psalm 90 states about our days and life:
Help us to remember that our days are numbered, and help us to interpret our lives correctly. Set your wisdom deeply in our hearts so that we may accept your correction.” Psalm 90:12 TPT
A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday morning, I awoke to a dream I was having. I was in heaven, speaking to both of my parents (who have passed on), and our conversation was full of God’s peace and joy. God’s peace was so tangible and strong as I woke that morning. A few minutes later, while having a cup of coffee and thinking about the dream, I learned that a pastor friend of mine had suddenly passed away the day before. Eternity is near for each of us. Learning to keep an eternal, kingdom perspective is important. Consider what Paul wrote to the early church to give them hope and comfort during hardship and suffering,
Listen, I’m telling you a secret: All of us won’t die, but we will all be changed— in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the final trumpet. The trumpet will blast, and the dead will be raised with bodies that won’t decay, and we will be changed… As a result of all this, my loved brothers and sisters, you must stand firm, unshakable, excelling in the work of the Lord as always, because you know that your labor isn’t going to be for nothing in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 15:51-52, 58 CEB
Maintain an eternal, unshakable perspective. Jesus will return, and his followers will experience his resurrection power and will be given an eternal, glorified body! You are united with Christ, in his resurrection life and victory, and nothing can separate you from him or his love!
There is an old Christian saying, “As God guides, he provides!” So true! God promises to meet all your needs. As we seek him first, his kingdom and righteousness, we can safely trust that God will care and provide for us. Jesus said,
Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt. 6:31-33 CEB
Paul wrote confidently from a prison cell,
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19 NKJV
And David, as a young man wrote,
The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.” Psalm 23:1-2 TPT
Psalm 91 assures us of God’s provision in life. You can trust him confidently to provide for you!
In Psalm 91, God promises to protect you, even surround you with angels who will minister to and deliver you. God’s omnipotence is irrefutable, we must trust El-Shaddai! He is God Almighty who can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves!
But God also promises to empower us to accomplish his dream for our life. His Spirit strengthens us to achieve the impossible. Paul confidently declared this,
And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.” Phil. 4:13 TPT
Did you catch what Paul said? God infuses, or empowers you, to not just get through, but to conquer every difficulty you face! Can you confidently declare this with Paul? If not, meditate on this truth and ask God to strengthen your faith so that you can be confident in this declaration too!
God also promises to reveal strategies and vision to us—this is an aspect of his power. Vision empowers you to move forward to accomplish goals and dreams. Consider what the prophet Jeremiah told Judah,
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jer. 33:3 NKJV
Trust God, that has you call out to him, he will reveal vision and strategy to aid you as you follow him faithfully.