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ID-100256393Psalm 33:22King James Version (KJV)
22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
King James Version (KJV)
by Public Domain

This verse from Psalms is a memory verse from Andy Stanley’s DVD “He’s Still Got the Whole World in His Hands”. I’d read it many times but Pastor Stanley greatly illuminated the meaning in his study. I highly encourage anyone to view this three-part teaching if figuring out life is something of interest.

Depending on the Bible version, mercy may also translate as love. The psalmist, most likely King David, begs for God’s unfailing or everlasting love to be with him as he shifts all of his eggs into God’s basket. This move is somewhat counterintuitive to modern man as we are told to diversify and be self-reliant. How many of us treat God as a back-up plan rather than a first line of defense?

The theme I most appreciated in Pastor Stanley’s study is that he told the truth about life. Life in this world will disappoint us, fail us, and fall short of our deepest desires. No matter how spiritual I think I am, I admit he is right. I know in my head that true, full, meaningful life only exists for me as a Christian within the boundaries of God’s will and plans but in my heart and mind I have tried to find life in all the things the world can offer.

Even churchy stuff can be stuck on my list of less-than-fulfilled if the activity is an end unto itself and not an offering to God. It’s pretty easy to participate in all kinds of religious activity, looking great on the outside, but coming up empty deep inside. Too many of us have been invited to the party, and we show up well-attired and trained, but in the end we have to admit we didn’t enjoy it.

Then we blame God for the failures of life and ask a lot of why questions. Why did that fail? Why did he die? Why did she leave? How could this have happened? And too many pulpiteers swear that if we just sign up we get prosperity, with Jesus thrown in for good measure. Ask yourself…could any of your attitudes really be rooted in the fallacy that you can actually be the master of your own ship to the end of the rainbow?

Pastor Stanley admonishes to do all the good stuff anyway. Study. Learn. Serve. Train. Work out. Be positive. Strive. Stay faithful. But in the end if your hope is in anything but the Lord, your world will cave without the strength of God’s unfailing love to sustain. In a world of positive thinking, to say that life will disappoint sounds negative and futile. But to me, I found a new truth that set me free.

I must continue on to do what I believe God has called me to do. Yet, I’ve learned that the pain and disappointment of life is not caused by God. He is not to blame. It’s just life. No matter how diligent, educated, talented, beautiful, wealthy, or faithful a person is—life can crash. Life is uncertain but God is not.

Erwin Lutzer says God is just as much in control in waiting as He is in winning. Take heart. If your failures exceed your successes, know you are in good company. Keep on but rest in the unfailing love of God who never fails and has secured a sure hope for believers. Check your basket. Where are your eggs?

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net, “Fresh Eggs in Basket”.

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