Psalm 119:49-50 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
What awesome encouragement there is contained for us in this cry of the Psalmist, and how helpful and challenging it is to reflect on it in our present circumstances. The Covid virus pandemic has affected all our lives in ways, and to an extent, that we would never have even thought possible two years ago. I like Eugene Petersen’s paraphrase of it in ‘The Message’: “Remember what you said to me, your servant – I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me.”
May we never take for granted what it means to us that our Sovereign God has so graciously given us his clear, infallible Word in writing, has made sure that it has been accurately preserved for countless generations, and that it is available for us to read in our native language each day. We are experiencing a time when positive HOPE is in very short supply and when we see much suffering and hardship around us – so much so that it would be easy to despair.
The Psalmist gives us permission to feel comfortable about reminding our faithful, loving Heavenly Father about the promises he has given us IN WRITING, that give us HOPE in spite of how ‘hope-less’ our situation might SEEM to US, and promises that bring us tangible COMFORT – a comfort that we can truly FEEL – in times of suffering. There is a very real sense in which ‘his PROMISES PRESERVE our LIVES (or ‘REJUVENATE us’ – Petersen) in every sense of the word! As I noted a few weeks ago, I recently heard a pastor comment at a funeral service that when Jesus said, “I AM the way and the truth and the LIFE” (John 14:6a), he wasn’t promising us life after death – he was promising us a life NOW that can never be terminated by death.
All this inspires me to make sure that ‘meditating on God’s Word’ (as per Psalm 1) remains a top, non-negotiable priority in my daily routine!