A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save. Psalm 33:16-17
We are tempted to put our hope and trust in countless things: military might, economic strength, education and beauty, to name but a few. Each of these offers a promise of significance, success, and safety. Yet if we have learned anything from history, we know that armies are defeated, economies can crumble, and beauty is fleeting (Proverbs 31:30).
When we live surrounded by prosperity and success, it is easy to think that these promises are true. As a result, though we may not say it, we live in ways that show how we’ve placed our hope and trust in these earthly powers. We misplace our hope when we allow anxiety and fear to arise within us when one of these powers begins to fail. In times of political strife and turmoil, for example, are we as Christians able to remain hopeful in the steadfast love and unshakable power of the Lord? This is the way of life that the Psalmist invites us into.
“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield. Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you” (Psalm 33:20-22).
In each and every generation, God’s people must learn and live out this profound truth.
The Lord alone is our source of help and protection. Our joy and happiness is not linked to our personal success or national strength but is found only in the love of God that he freely lavishes upon us. And when we encounter times of great trial, conflict, or pain, we are never to despair for we know that the Lord is with us. As we are reminded in the book of Isaiah, “though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken” (Isaiah 54:10).
If you are tempted today to put your trust in the empty promises of this world, turn again to the Lord and trust in him. If the storms that swirl about you cause fear and turmoil within, hear afresh the words of the Lord Jesus, “do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). Trust in the Lord, for he alone is our strength and our salvation!
Prayer: Father, remind us afresh that you alone are our source of hope, life, and peace.
Application: Are there areas of your life where you have placed your hope and trust in things other than the unfailing love of God?
Related Readings: Joshua 1:9; Psalm 27:1; 91:2; Isaiah 12:2; Luke 12:22-26
By Tripp Prince