It was a real privilege on Thursday to have the opportunity to speak from Psalm 16 during Worship at One. In the Psalm, David makes the following statement, ‘No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.’ (Verses 9-10). At first glance you may think that David believed God would save him from death. However, on closer examination, it becomes evident that David had a far more secure hope. Indeed, David’s conviction was not that he would live forever in this body, but that God would raise him for eternity and give to him him a new and immortal body. During my brief talk I said something that may have unsettled some. That is, although we will hear glorious testimonies in which God supernaturally heals people of corona virus, that this appalling pandemic will take the lives of some believers. Furthermore, their faith is no weaker than those who are healed and the love of God, no less towards them. Therefore, it is vital that we like David need a robust understanding of the purposes of God in order that our faith is based on his promises.
Over the years I have had the privilege of preaching through many books of the Bible and focusing on many themes. However, I sometimes wonder of I have focused enough on the subject of suffering. My reason is this. The Bible speaks extensively about suffering. It speaks about a world in which pain is ever-present, about how God’s people are not immune from tragedy and how God himself, in the person of the Lord Jesus, enters our suffering. After doing so, Jesus granted us his Spirit in order to lead us and to comfort us.
At these times of crisis, we must continue to pray for God’s protection and God’s peace. However, we must also share the confidence of David. Not primarily that God would save us from death, but that God will ultimately save us in death through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you want to dig a little deeper into these issues, I can recommend a great article by Malcolm Duncan in this months Christianity Magazine (Link below).
Yours rejoicing, Gareth