2017 and Psalm 146

By: Mark King

In 2017 we will once again see a new president take office in the United States. The nation is divided with some citizens ecstatic over the results of the election and some absolutely devastated. I suppose there is another group in the middle that is just not sure what to make of it. Commentators speak of a divided nation.

This is not the first divisive election that we have had and I venture to say, if the Lord does not return soon, it will not be the last one either. While elections are important and can have tremendous consequences for a people, we need to keep them in perspective. I first delivered these thoughts to my church in November of 2000 as we were still awaiting the outcome of the presidential election. As you may recall, the election was held on November 7 but the outcome was not decided until December 12. In much the same way as today, many were ecstatic with the outcome and probably just as many were devastated.

When facing uncertain times (and if we are honest, all times are uncertain) we will overcome uncertainty with faith if we look in the right direction. I submit to you that Psalm 146 will point us in the right direction.
Psalm 146
Praise the LORD!
  Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
  I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
The first place to start is to praise the Lord. He has done so much for us and as we face an uncertain future, we can remember his blessing and praise him! Praise is always the right response before God, but I am also convinced that it does something to the one who is involved in it. It lifts our minds and our spirits out of our circumstances and helps us see what (and more importantly Who) is really important.
Put not your trust in princes,
  in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
  on that very day his plans perish.
Princes — human rulers — presidents, congressmen, Supreme Court justices — all have their place but we must not put our faith in them. They are merely human — sons of men. They may have great plans, but they are mortal, so they many not live to see them through. So far there have been 44 presidents of the United States and on Jan. 20, we will get the 45th. Of the 44 so far, 8 of them have died in office, four by assassination and four of natural causes. If you count one other who was driven out by scandal, that means that over 20 percent of US Presidents have been unable to complete their full terms, let alone deliver on all the initiatives they promised. Even the best of human leaders is just that — human. Humans are notoriously frail and prone to failure and death — very poor objects of faith!
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
  whose hope is in the LORD his God,
On the other hand, if the Lord is the one who has promised to help you, you are blessed indeed. You can count on him. Look at his power and his faithfulness:
who made heaven and earth,
  the sea, and all that is in them,
    who keeps faith forever;
He made the universe and he has never broken a promise!
who executes justice for the oppressed,
  who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
  the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
  the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the sojourners;
  he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
    but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
This sounds like a good platform for anyone to run on, but no human being could deliver on all these things. Some may protest that God has not delivered on all these things either. There is injustice in this world. People are still oppressed, and sick, and hungry, and orphaned — and in many places it looks like the unrighteous are winning the day. But we must remember that the Lord is not limited by a 4- or 8-year term, nor is he limited by the span of one lifetime. He has all eternity to work out the details. We know that the world is not as it should be and this should drive us to him. He will work it out in the end.
The LORD will reign forever,
  your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!
Once again, he has forever to work this out. His term of office will never come to an end and it will never be cut short. We may not see or understand the way that he will make it all fit together but we can trust him that he will, and we can praise him in the meantime.

If you find the uncertainty that faces us in 2017 to be frightening, disconcerting, or unnerving, let me encourage you to turn your focus upward to the God of Creation who came to earth as a baby, lived a perfect life, died on a cross to pay for your sins, and rose again. One day, he will return and set everything right, but in the meantime he is willing to make his home in you through the Holy Spirit and begin to set things right in your life here and now. This is not a promise that everything will be perfect, but it is a promise that he will carry you through it.

2017 — Donít do it alone!

Image Credit: srikanta H. U; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Controversial-Issues  | Current-Issues  | God-Father  | Political-Issues

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Published 1-10-17