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(Part 82)


January 2, 2020
Today’s psalm: Psalm 98:1-4

As we look back on the past year, and as we look forward to this new year, indeed as we look to our life and work through the years, we look at the essential things, the aspects of our Christian life that should keep us going with full confidence in our God. We have a God who “has done marvelous deeds.” (v.1a). He has performed wonders. He is a God like no other.

What are the wonders of our God that we must keep in mind always?

First, He is a God of MERCY. “He has remembered his mercy …. toward the house of Israel.” (v.3a). God’s mercy is all about His faithful love. God loves us and wants us to be with Him. This is important as we struggle through life.

  • We fall into sin, and thus disfavor with God, but if we repent, God will always take us back and restore us to Himself. We need never be under the dominion of sin and darkness.
  • We are disliked by others, and treated in less than loving ways, but God loves us in spite of all our shortcomings and failures. When we have no one else to turn to or to seek comfort in, there is always God.

Second, He is a God of FAITHFULNESS. “He has remembered his …. faithfulness toward the house of Israel.” (v.3a). God is constant and true. He will always be there for us.

  • We may neglect, ignore or run away from God, but He is always there for us. We may not understand the dangers of being away from God, but He will always be watching out for us. We may be prodigal sons, but God is always scanning the horizon anxiously awaiting our return.
  • We may be shunned by others, betrayed by friends and confreres, estranged in relationships, but when there is no one else, there is always God. He is not turned off by our erratic moods. He gives us space to mope and patiently awaits our getting back on track.

Third, He is a God of VICTORY. “His right hand and holy arm have won the victory.” (v.1b). God’s victory is about His saving power. He is all-powerful. He has won the victory over sin, death, darkness and evil. He has crushed the head of the serpent. In Him we can live in the light, and never be overcome by the forces of darkness.

  • God’s victory is to be manifest in our lives. We live in freedom, no longer enslaved by sin. We live in the power of the Spirit.
  • As God sends us forth to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus to a sinful and perverted world, as we engage in spiritual war with the powerful forces of the enemy, we are assured of victory. As we are sent to the grassroots at the peripheries, as we face daunting challenges and intense suffering, we are strengthened and encouraged by the knowledge of God’s victory, and that “all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.” (v.3b).
  • At the end of it all, we are assured of final victory for our lives, when we enter into our eternal dominion in heaven.

With God’s mercy, faithfulness and victory, we have it all. We can face all challenges of life. We can, by God’s grace and strength, overcome all obstacles. We may fall, but God will raise us again. All this is why our Christian life will be filled with joy. This is joy in spite of adversity and pain. And we will share that joy with everyone else, as we bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. “Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth; break into song; sing praise.” (v.4).

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