Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 2, 2020
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish. Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith for ever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. Psalm 146:3-7
As I’ve said in recent weeks, these unprecedented times expose our deepest insecurities. They shine a spotlight on our vulnerabilities, at times making them the only things we can see. Before this pandemic, you may have had strained relationships with your parents, spouse, siblings, or children, yet now those hairline relational fractures are breaking apart, threatening to sever the bonds of love that tie you together. You may have known your financial safety net was not what it should be, yet that abstract knowledge is now painfully being experienced through the loss of a job or reduced income. And even within your own heart and soul, you find yourself encountering new forms of brokenness within, anger that you didn’t know was there, a need for control that rears its ugly head, or a weary cynicism that has taken root and settled in.
In light of this present moment, I am increasingly aware of our inability to resolve these challenges, not to mention the countless more that I haven’t named. We cannot simply snap our fingers and return to simpler days. The problems are too complex, the challenge too severe. And so we must look outside ourselves for hope and a way forward.
When I read the news, this is exactly what our country is doing at this moment. We desperately look to the government, or corporations, or charities for solutions, hoping someone will have an answer, a way to see us through this impossible situation we find ourselves in. Yet I am convinced there is a very real threat, even for us within the family of God, to misplace our trust.
As the psalmist reminds us, “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3). Apparently, this impulse to trust in the wrong people has been around for a long time! And misguided trust is not our only problem, it is also misguided hope. If our hope is simply for economic security or prosperity, then “princes” may be of some use. If a pandemic is our greatest concern, then looking to health care experts makes a great deal of sense.
Yet in this Easter season, the psalmist helpfully reminds us of the temporal nature of these hopes. Princes and leaders, however wise or trusted they may be, will see their plans perish as their breath departs from them. If our hope is for something truly eternal, we must place those hopes in the hands of something, or someone, greater than death itself!
Our reading today directly links happiness to hope. “Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God” (v. 5). If we hope correctly, we will be truly happy. And so today, place your hope in the one who overcame death itself, Jesus Christ our Lord, and trust that he will bring you unspeakable happiness as you place your trust in him.
Father, thank you that no matter what we face in this life, we do so knowing that you have defeated our greatest enemy, death, and offer eternal happiness to those who put their hope in your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Where have you misplaced your hope in this season of uncertainty?
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
Place your hope in the one who overcame death itself, Jesus Christ our Lord, and trust that he will bring you unspeakable happiness. #WisdomHunters #trust #truth #Jesus
4 minute video: Simon Khorolskiy:
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