But I trust in your unfailing love;
My heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
For he has been good to me.
David wrote those words after expressing utmost despair. The psalm begins with a timeless lament. Four times he asks, “How long, O LORD?” How much longer must I endure unjust persecution at the hands of my enemies? How much longer will you forget me and hide your face from me? (See Psalm 13:1-2.)
We’ve all been there, in the valley of depression, where the morning fog will not lift and the gloom of night drags on forever.
But – and that’s the key word in this psalm – “But I trust in your unfailing love.” How does David know that God still loves him in a hopeless situation? He is certain of God’s goodness because “My heart rejoices in your salvation.”
Wow! What a turnaround. He has just climbed out of the pit of despair and scaled the mountaintop of joy. And he does it by finding delight in one of our most precious promises – the salvation of God.
When faced with the trials and hardships of life, can we not do the same?
Regardless of circumstances, are you able to rejoice in the salvation provided through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Certainly this is easier said than done. As I think about my own tendencies, I realize that my default mode is to allow a stressful situation to consume me. How about you?
It takes much self-discipline to focus on the positive while swimming in a sea of negativity. Here’s one way to do that: When I think of “God’s salvation,” His salvation from sin is one of the first things that should come to mind. And I love to think of this salvation from the perspective of time: past, present and future.
For the believer in Jesus Christ, salvation is a past event — justification. On the day we were saved, God declared us righteous in His sight, even though we broke His law countless times and stood before Him in the courtroom of heaven with the verdict of “guilty” hanging over our heads. We deserved to be punished with the death sentence of hell, but because of the sacrificial death of Jesus, God pronounced us “not guilty” and let us go free. He poured out his wrath on Jesus instead of us, and therefore we have been saved from the penalty of sin.
Salvation is also a present experience — sanctification. Until the day we die, God is at work in us, changing us from the inside out, making us more and more like Jesus. This never-ending process of increasing Christ-likeness enables us to say “no” to sin’s vice-grip and “yes” to holiness. We will never be perfect this side of heaven, but there should be a radical transformation occurring in our lives as we are being saved from the power of sin.
Ultimately, salvation is a future hope — glorification. When we get to heaven, we will be saved from the very presence of sin. Oh, how we long for that day when we see Jesus face to face and enjoy the radiance of His glory like never before!
Certainly the work of salvation is one of the wonderful, marvelous works of God for which we can praise and thank God every day, especially when faced with the trials of life.
I urge you to cultivate the habit of rejoicing in God’s provision of salvation every single day. As often as you can, offer joyful prayers of thanks for His justifying, sanctifying and glorifying work on your behalf. The more you rejoice in His salvation when the sky is blue, the easier it will be to do so when the storm clouds of life abound.