My Times Are in Your Hand
Most of us are a mixture of emotions and experiences. The good, the bad, and the ugly wash over us regularly. The key issue is what we do with these feelings and experiences. How does being a believer shape the way in which we view our world? “My times are in your hand” is a six-word affirmation to remind Christians that despite disasters and difficulties, we are under the care of Almighty God.
In the opening verses of Psalm 31, it is apparent that David is in anguish. As we read on, we seem to find him in a position of assurance just a few verses later, only for him to return immediately to a state of distress. This cycle of pain and joy is not an unusual experience for the Christian pilgrim. In fact, the recurrence of disappointment and discomfort is fairly common along the path of faith.
In her book The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom tells the story of looking forward to her first railway journey. Although her trip was not for many weeks, she would regularly go to her father and ask him if he had the tickets. He would tell her over and over that he did. She realized that her problem was a lack of trust in her dad; she did not believe he would take care of everything. She was worrying that he would lose her ticket and that somehow she would be without it on the day she was to travel. In that lesson, she learned that God gives us the ticket on the day we make the journey and not before. He, of course, is much better at keeping it safe than we are.
In our own pilgrimages through heartache, disappointment, the loss of loved ones, and personal failures, we can learn that this is indeed true. Therefore, we must trust Him. On the day we make the journey from time to eternity, if we know Christ, we know He will give us the ticket. If that day is today, then the ticket is on the way. If not, then what is the use in lying awake and letting our emotions control us and our worries crowd in on us?
We are not at the mercy of arbitrary, impersonal forces; we are in the hand of our loving God. He says to us, Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden. Come to Me with all your burdens, fears, panics, anxieties, and heartaches. Take My yoke upon you. Live underneath My loving rule, because My yoke is easy and My burden is light, and you will find rest for your souls, forever (see Matthew 11:28-30).
This is your security. Your times—short or long, rich or poor, sad or happy—are in His hand. He will give you good works to do each day, and then on your last day, He will bring you safely through to the place where your days are infinitely long, unimaginably rich, and unutterably happy.
Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
2Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
3For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
4you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
6I hate1 those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
7I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have known the distress of my soul,
8and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.
9Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye is wasted from grief;
my soul and my body also.
10For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my iniquity,
and my bones waste away.
11Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach,
especially to my neighbors,
and an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
12I have been forgotten like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
13For I hear the whispering of many—
terror on every side!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
14But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!
17O Lord, let me not be put to shame,
for I call upon you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go silently to Sheol.
18Let the lying lips be mute,
which speak insolently against the righteous
in pride and contempt.
19Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!
20In the cover of your presence you hide them
from the plots of men;
you store them in your shelter
from the strife of tongues.
21Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
22I had said in my alarm,2
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.
23Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
24Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!
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