Are you a lighthouse leading people to the safety and salvation of The Lord, or are you a signal, warning people away from Him? Jesus told us we are the Light of the World. (Matthew 5:14-16). A light can be a beacon, a symbol of hope and a shining example of Jesus. Or it can be a caution signal, alerting people to stay away. We can shine our light brightly, let it flicker dimly, hide it, or let it die. It is often our response to life, to our enemies, and our blessings which either glorify The Lord and make people want Him in their own lives, or make them hate Christians and label us haters and hypocrites and so want nothing to do with our Lord.
How do we shine brightly? When troubles come or needs arise do you Trust God, pray, and lean on Him, or do you lean on your own strengths, complain, and look for help from everywhere but God? Calling on God venerates Him for the world and terrifies the enemy. Verses 1-4 read,
“In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
3 Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.”
David was the king of Israel, a man after God’s own heart, a worshipper, and a prophet. But when troubles came, he didn’t rely on his wealth, gifts, talents, or power. He cried out to God for his deliverance. Everyone knew David depended on and was protected by God Almighty. And David’s continued trust in God was a guiding light for others to call on The Lord as well as a warning to his enemies to leave him alone. If David had depended on his own strength, even as the king of Israel for refuge from his enemies, they would have scoffed and attacked all the harder, and his friends might have praised David, but they wouldn’t have thought much of his God.
Do you remember truly how much you need God? It is because of God that we breathe. Our salvation is all due to Him. From conception to birth to calling to eternal life, it is God. We can praise Him and give Him all the credit or we can stay quiet and let our light glimmer weakly against the dark. Verses 5-11 reads,
“For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you.
7 I have been as a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me;
those who watch for my life consult together
11 and say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue and seize him,
for there is none to deliver him.”
David could have leaned on his position as king and let the people of Israel put all their hope in him. He could have glorified his own military strength and let his enemies tremble at his name. But instead David called on God, clung to God, and glorified God. God therefore exalted and prospered David. People did look to him and in looking to David they looked to The Lord. Can people look toward us and be led to Jesus? Are our lights inviting people to love Jesus or leading them astray?
Living a life of worship means continual acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and constant thankfulness expressed as praise so that God is glorified, the church is edified, and the lost can see Jesus revealed in you, in the works of God, and in His creation. Verses 12-16 read,
“O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
with scorn and disgrace may they be covered
who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all the day,
for their number is past my knowledge.
16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.”
In Christ, we are never put to shame. When we do the right and good thing there is never a reason for disgrace or guilt. And Jesus’ righteousness means we have no more guilt and no more shame. Romans 8:1-3 read,
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,”
Jesus is life to us but the law is death to the lost. What brings us freedom and honor brings them condemnation and shame. (Romans 5:12-21). Everyone has the opportunity for salvation in Christ. Those who have never heard His name can look at life, science, the earth, and the sky and see that there must be one All-Powerful God and Creator. (Romans 1:18-20).
Most of us have heard about Jesus from our childhoods. Many of us have had the privilege of learning about Jesus as we grew older, and once we gave our lives to Christ, the Spirit continued to teach us and reveal The Lord to us. How can we keep quiet? Don’t we want others to learn about God’s love and grace too? Verses 17-21 say,
“O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
19 Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.”
No matter what, God stays with us. None of us is as unwaveringly strong, faithful, and loving as God, yet He is steadfastly faithful to us. He not only doesn’t give up on us, but He strengthens us, matures us, and makes us more like Jesus through every trouble. He makes us aware of those sufferings so we can develop the strength and character He wants for us. No matter how bad things are, God is greater than worst of our troubles and we will never lose our hope, Jesus Christ.
Believer I encourage you to praise God exuberantly. I encourage you to depend on God obviously. I encourage you to cry out to Him vigorously. Be the light Jesus said you are. Be a beacon of hope to the lost and a signal of terror to the enemy. Verses 22-24 read,
“I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
24 And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long,
for they have been put to shame and disappointed
who sought to do me hurt.”