Ascension Lutheran Church

Calgary, AB

Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

Psalm 112

Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord,
    who greatly delight in his commandments.
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright
    they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
    they will be remembered forever.
They are not afraid of evil tidings;
    their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked see it and are angry;
    they gnash their teeth and melt away;
    the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Psalm 112 talks about the blessedness of those who fear (i.e. honour) the Lord and who strive to live in His way according to the commandments He’s given. One particular blessing stands out, especially in this day and age where there is no shortage of bad news, things large and small to worry about.
  They are not afraid of evil tidings;
      their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.

Notice that it doesn’t say that those who fear the Lord are exempt from receiving bad tidings, nor are they excused from suffering or trial. Rather, even in the midst of such situations they are kept from fear because their hope and trust are not in having circumstances work out in a particular fashion, but their hope and trust is in the Lord. They know well God’s promises to them, they have experienced God’s faithfulness in the past and they are secure in the knowledge that God will continue to be faithful to them in the future—thus no matter how bad the news may be that comes their way, they are not afraid.

How much time do we spend each day exposing ourselves to “bad news” be it on TV, radio, the internet, newspapers or even via word of mouth from family, co-workers, friends or neighbors? And how much time do we spend exposing out hearts and minds to the truth of God’s word, and His promises to never leave nor forsake us—whether that be in prayer, reading Scripture or other devotional works, worship, Christ centred music, or again the word of mouth from family friends or co-workers who share our faith?

Our hearts are more easily kept in firm and secure in the Lord when we intentionally spend time with Him and living our lives according to the promises He has given us as His children. God is always with us, but we best experience His peace when we are mindful of His gracious presence and promises.