Sunday Devotional 31st July 2022
by Bruce Billington
We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we will look at Psalm 40 – a Psalm of David’s.
How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
David comments on the blessing that those who put their trust in the Lord receive. What does it mean to be blessed? The simplest way to describe this is that we are given a way of life that God takes special interest and influence in. Although it may include such things as material blessings, it goes far deeper than that. When a true child of God is blessed, they gain a heart of peace, satisfaction, and security in all circumstances of life.
When we take this into the New Covenant, we are able to say that, because of Christ’s work of redemption on the cross, we can now receive the full blessings of God through faith in Him. Although the emphasis in the New Covenant is on spiritual blessings, it includes a promise that all we need in the material realm as well, will be provided for us.
It also promises that we are able to overcome all the trials, tests and tribulations that come our way. James 1:12 says,
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
What is the crown of life? It is the never-ending, victorious life in the world to come, where all trials will be ended. The marvellous blessings we experience now, which we should appreciate and enjoy, are minor compared to the benefits God has stored up for us in His eternal kingdom (1 Corinthians 2:9).
As David makes clear in this verse, such a blessed way of life comes from our fellowship with God the Father, which we are able to enjoy today, through the Lord Jesus Christ. To be blessed is to experience the full impact of God’s presence in our lives now and for all eternity.
Of course, this does require something from us. As we endure the many negative and troubling events in the world around us, it is easy to develop a very negative and discouraged outlook. We constantly see people full of pride and their own ambitions, abusing power, holding to little if any scruples, all the while seemingly “doing well” in life. David warns us not to follow this pathway – he calls it “lapsing into falsehood.” This is a temptation that will always be around us in this lifetime and is something we must constantly guard against. The person who puts their faith in the Lord doesn’t take advice from arrogant, worldly people. Nor do they imitate those who follow lies, false ideas, or foolishness.
The ultimate understanding of God’s blessing can be stated as being in His constant thoughts and expressions towards those who have become His sons and daughters. They enter into the things that He had planned for them before the beginning of time, things that the eye has not seen, and ear has not heard – meaning beyond anything we could have achieved for ourselves (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 2:9).
Charles Spurgeon sums all of this up nicely when he says,
A simple single eyed confidence in God is the sure mark of blessedness. A man may be as poor as Lazarus, as hated as Mordecai, as sick as Hezekiah, as lonely as Elijah, but while his hand of faith can keep its hold on God, none of his outward afflictions can prevent his being numbered among the blessed; but the wealthiest and most prosperous man who has no faith is accursed, be he who he may.
It is as we commit ourselves to walk with the Lord daily and to experience His presence in all our lives that we can agree with the comment from an earlier Psalmist
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
God bless you.