5Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
6Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:
7Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
(Psalm 146:5-7, King James Version)
God Our Hope
What is the relationship between happiness and hope? The Psalmist equates the two when he encourages us to trust in God our hope. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God. Could it be true that the secret to true happiness in the 21st century is so easy? Why, then are not Christians the happiest people in the world?
Perhaps our very difficulty in finding real happiness lies in our proximity to the things of this world! Perhaps, though we hold the dearest of treasures in the palms of our hands, we do not realize or value what we have!
Why did the Psalmist make such a bold claim? The Psalmist looked to God his Creator and stated that God: keeps truth forever, executes judgment for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, and looses the prisoners. How can that be true? Even believers often go hungry or are imprisoned for their beliefs; even believers seem to be oppressed, especially in certain countries, with no deliverer in sight. To answer this apparent dilemma, we need to look a little deeper into the Psalmist's meaning.
First, how does God keep truth forever? In a world where truth and lies are so intermingled, it is often hard to actually distinguish between the two. However, we know that throughout the entire Word of God, we are told that God is truth--in Him are no lies. As we look to God's Word, the Bible, we can safely trust in the truths that God has providentially unfolded within its pages. With the Bible as our guide, we can more easily discern between truth and error. Of course, that presumes we read and study our Bibles!
As the world runs steadily away from God, we should not be surprised by laws and practices which are contrary to God's Word. As believers, let us hold fast to God's laws. If a practice is condemned in the Bible, then it should be condemned by us. If a practice is lauded by the Bible, then it should be lauded by us. This practice alone, if followed by all mankind would alleviate much oppression, suffering, and even hunger!
What of those who are oppressed, going hungry, or imprisoned for the Gospel? Is God nowhere to be found? God never leaves His followers, but that does not mean that His followers will not suffer persecution for the sake of the Gospel. Christ warned that, because man hates God, man will hate the followers of God. Even as Christ was condemned, so will His followers be condemned. However, that condemnation is only in this world, but this world is not our home! Our home is with Christ. What we face here is just a temporary passage of time, but what we have coming is a bright and glorious future with the Lord Jesus Christ forever!
Let us then, not be weary, but let us look to God our hope, who sustains us, enriches us in His Word, and encourages our hearts. Let us look to Christ who walks beside us all of the days of our lives upon this earth, and will be the first to welcome us home when we enter the gates of heaven.
Amen, even so come quickly, Lord Jesus!
God Bless You,