In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness. (Psalm 31:1)
I Put My Trust
Before 1448, the Bible had no division of verses. For nearly twelve-hundred years, the Bible was one complete unit with the only divisions by books. The Bible was first divided into chapters by Stephen Langton around the year 1228. Two hundred years later, a man by the name of R. Nathan divided the Old Testament into verses in 1448 and Robert Stephanus divided the New Testament into verses one hundred years later around 1551. The entire Bible divided into chapters and verses first appeared in the Geneva Bible of 1560. One of the remarkable thumbprints of God in the revelation of God’s word in the printed form is found in the verse divisions of the complete Bible. Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the Bible which says, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” The need for trust is the center of the word of God and is central to understanding the character, purpose, and will of the Lord.
Trust is the faith and conviction of a thing which does not require full understanding or knowledge. Boarding an aircraft requires an immense amount of trust that all things will be per the designs, functions, and purpose of every part of the aircraft including the persons engaging the mechanisms of the machine. Knowing the scientific analysis of lift, weight, thrust, and drag is not required to fly as a passenger. Understanding the torque of an engine with incoming air into a tube where the air is compressed, mixed with fuel, burned, and exhausted at high speed to generate thrust is not necessary to fly from one city to the next. Trust is the corporate logo of inviting a group of people to enter a silver bullet to fly at thousands of feet for long distances and landing safely. The object of trust is the person desires to go from point A to point B and has measured confidence in all the factors involved in getting them safely to their destination.
Understanding how planes fly will not compare to the kind of trust required of man in his relationship with God. Few, if any, would question the airplane pilot, mechanic or engineer who designed the machine when they travel and if an event happens (like turbulence), while there may be justified fear and concern, there remains a level of trust the pilots will make the right decisions to help everyone come through the storm safely. When life makes a right turn and everything seems upside down, why do men not trust in the One who made the world, rules the world and declares His glory in the world? Life has a way of going haywire and there are dark clouds that gather on the horizon. Fear and dread enter the hearts of the unprepared. Doubts begin to fill the mind. Panic begins to seize the spirit. The world is changed.
David understood the uncertainty of life and how easily things can change quickly. His psalm to the Chief Musician of Psalm 31 is a full testimony to the word trust. The book of Psalms contains the most references to trust than any other book of the Bible. With no more than five hundred words, David declares the need for men to put their trust in God and their rock and fortress. God is a rock of refuge and a fortress of defense. There can be no value to human wisdom (like idols) but rather trusting in the Lord alone. Peace comes when men trust God as the Lord will place their feet in a wide pace securely giving them security in a time of need. David declares his fears as his eye wastes away with grief and his years were filled with sighing. His strength failed because of his sin and his bones wasted away. The son of Jesse knew that the flesh was frail but he trusted in the Lord and proclaimed the Lord was his God. The goodness of the Lord is great and is given to all those who will fear him and trust Him. The Lord preserves the faithful.
Fear can fill the heart in uncertain times. The impact of the COVID-19 virus upon the world is without precedence in modern time. Children of God must remember that while life has changed and become uncertain, God has not changed and He is still the great God He has always been. The key to the life of the faithful is to trust in the Lord with all the heart, soul and mind and never doubting that God remains supreme. Is there a message of Psalm 118:8 being the center verse of the Bible? Trust is the need of the hour. It is uncertain how this virus will change the world. Sadly, it has taken many lives and the families impacted will never be the same. Economies around the world are strained at the impact of what this virus has done. Let us liken this journey to an airline flight. Trust knows that whether we can understand everything about the why, when, how long or long-lasting effects, God will take us to our place of safety because He rules in the affairs of the world. If children of God die from this virus they are blessed to see His face. Jesus taught that life is not about the things of this life. The material possessions do not save us or define us. The character of trust is found in the voice of the faithful who trust in God, rely upon His mercy and grace and show others their faith in the face of this great trial.
Francis of Sales wrote, “Everyone knows how to be resigned amid the joys and happiness of prosperity, but to be so amid storms and tempests is peculiar to the children of God.” (Consoling Thoughts of, ed. Huguet; 1567-1622). David summed it up: “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”