Bulletin Articles

Bulletin Articles

Let Your Heart Live!

One of the great themes of Scripture is that of taking the lowly and downtrodden and raising them up in strength and faith. Jesus refers to the poor in spirit and those who mourn as being blessed (Matt 5). Indeed the feeling of despair and anguish is universal, and this should be expected from a world corrupted by sin. Whether it be our own sins or being part of a world in which sin has caused so many problems, we all feel it. Humanity has inflicted despair upon itself and is unable to fix itself. The overwhelming message of the Bible is that we need God. We cannot live without Him. No life will be complete without God.

One of the marvelous lessons of the Psalms is that we can go to God and cast our cares upon Him, even when we feel in the depths of despair.  In one psalm David expresses his feelings thusly:

“Why are you in despair, O my soul?

And why have you become disturbed within me?

 Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him

For the help of His presence.” (Psalm 42:5)

David knew the feelings of despair and anguish, and he was not afraid to express these feelings to God. David’s Psalm 22 is another perfect example. He opens with the well-known cry, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest” (vv. 1-2).

Of course, we recognize these opening words on the lips of Jesus as He languished on the cross, shedding His blood for the sins of the world. Yet there is more to the Psalm and the implications of what Jesus was saying. Jesus’ use of the Psalm was powerful, as can be seen from noting all of the correspondences between the entire Psalm and the events of the cross and the resurrection (Christ's ultimate deliverance).

Yet here is what we ought to notice about Psalm 22. It is really not so much about despair as it is about deliverance. In fact, by the time we get to the end of the psalm, it has changed completely from a lament to a psalm of praise for what God has done. “From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him. The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever!” (vv. 25-26)

Let your heart live forever! That is a primary message here. Why? Because while we, in a world of despair, sometimes wonder if God really cares, we are reminded of His grace and mercy. David made this very point in Psalm 22: “For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard” (vs. 24).

What may have appeared to be a forsaking by God toward David turned out to be just the opposite. God did hear. God did answer. God will always be at the side of those who seek Him. Even today, when we think that godlessness seems to be taking over, God has not abandoned His people. We may not always understand it. We may sometimes wonder about it. Yet in the final analysis, know that God does not hide His face from the afflicted who seek Him. Therefore, let your heart live!

By the end of the psalm, David not only wants to praise God for deliverance, but he wants to tell others about it, too (vv. 27-31): 

“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,

And all the families of the nations will worship before You.

For the kingdom is the Lord’s

And He rules over the nations.

All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,

All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,

Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.

Posterity will serve Him;

It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.

They will come and will declare His righteousness

To a people who will be born, that He has performed it.”

We see something similar in Psalm 51:12-13:

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation

And sustain me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,

And sinners will be converted to You.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;

Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.”

Telling others is only natural when we feel the weight of despair taken off of our shoulders. There is an answer to the hopelessness and despair of the world. Let your heart live, praise God for it, and tell others about it! This is the gospel.