I’m spending the year in Psalm 119. (Read more here and find tips and reading plans to do the same over the course of 1 year or 6 months.) It’s been refreshing and nourishing and, at times, surprising. For example, it’s not the chapter I would typically turn to in order to contemplate Easter. Yet that’s exactly what I found myself doing in March.
As I meditated on verses 41-42, God graced me with a clear picture of what enabled Jesus to endure the journey to the cross and his ultimate death. It’s what the Psalmist was crying out for too.
Assurance of God’s Love
There is no doubting the love of Jesus. He touched those no one else would. He looked into the eyes of women that were outcast. He was moved with compassion for the masses who were as sheep without a shepherd. He forgave those who executed his death sentence.
His life was filled with the Father’s love and it flowed from him as a result. This is the promise of God’s love in us too. I John 4:19 says
We love because he first loved us.
When we are assured of the Father’s love and allow it to fill us, we can’t help but love the people around us. People who are outcast. People who hurt us. People we don’t even know. God’s love changes us and saves us from our own sinful reactions, pride, and vengeful spirits.
Trust in God’s Word
Jesus used Scripture throughout his lifetime. He gave insight to it when he was only 12 years old. He used it to resist Satan during his temptation in the wilderness. He shed light on the Old Testament prophecies. He was himself the Word become flesh. Jesus not only knew God’s promises, but he clung to them.
He trusted God’s promise that his death would not be permanent.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. (Psalm 16:10 ESV)
He believed that his death would accomplish salvation for many.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11 ESV)
He was confident that his current humiliation was not permanent.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Jesus’ dependence on God’s Word is a model for us. God’s Word tells us what is real and true. More real and true than what we see or feel around us. God’s Word gives life and hope. God’s Word fixes our eyes on God himself and on the hope and promise of what is yet to come.
Ability to Endure
God’s love shaped Jesus’ life. God’s Word strengthened his resolve. They were what enabled him to endure the dark road to his death.
Love kept him from fleeing from his betrayer. Love endured the denial of a close friend. Love enabled him to stand quietly before mockery and derision and lies. Love enabled him to think of others and not himself.
Scripture enabled him to set his face like a flint. Scripture gave him courage. Scripture gave hope that did not disappoint.
I love the way these verses in Psalm 119 say it. After God’s love fills a life and trust is placed in his Word “THEN” we can stand and answer and endure.
Assurance of God’s love and trust in God’s Word must come first. They enabled Jesus to endure, and they can enable you to endure too.
Life can be hard. Dreams can die. Words can wound. People can hurt. Bodies can fail.
But through it all, you can be assured of God’s love for you and his presence with you. Because of Jesus’ enduring love, you will never be separated from God’s love. (Romans 8:31-39) You can believe the promises of his word and allow that to be your hope and an anchor for your soul.
That’s what the Psalmist wanted too and asked for in the remaining verses of this section of Psalm 119.
Read them and make them your prayer today.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.
I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.
I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
(Psalm 119:43-48 ESV)