May 18, 2020 • Life for Leaders
Scripture: Psalm 62:5-8 (NRSV)
For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Because God is always our mighty rock, our deliverance, our fortress, and our refuge, we can trust him at all times, including “these uncertain times.” In fact, the insecurity of our current times encourages us to trust God even more. We may not be able to rely on a flourishing economy or the wonders of medical science, we may not feel confident in the wisdom of our leaders and pundits, but we can accept the invitation of Psalm 62 and put our full trust in God, our refuge in all times.
We are living in uncertain times. No question about that. In times like these, we may wonder how God matters.
Several days ago I began a Life for Leaders devotional series on “Walking with God in Uncertain Times.” I acknowledged the uncertainty of the times in which we live, though recognizing that other times are not as secure as we might wish. Nevertheless, in our faithful God we can find what Isaiah calls “the stability of our times” (Isaiah 33:6). We can have confidence in God’s steadiness even when everything else around us feels shaky.
Psalm 62 makes a similar point in a different way. Verse 8 urges us to “trust” in God “at all times.” When are we to trust God? At all times, not just in good times, not only in times that feel secure, but at all times, including “these uncertain times.”
What does it mean to trust God? The Hebrew verb translated here as “trust” (batach) means “trust, feel safe, be confident, rely upon.” I’m reminded of how I felt as a young boy when my dad would carry on his shoulders. I felt the steadiness of his body and the sureness of his strength. I knew I was safe with him. I could relax and enjoy the ride, not to mention the feeling of being close to him. That’s rather similar to what it’s like to trust God. (Today’s photo is my favorite picture of my dad and me. I’m not on his shoulders, but I am enjoying his company, as you can tell.)
Why should we trust God? Because of who God is. In just a few verses of Psalm 62 God is portrayed as our mighty rock, salvation, fortress, and refuge. Thus, in God we find hope, deliverance, honor, and safety. Even as I could trust my dad because I knew who he was, so we can trust the God who has revealed himself to us in Scripture, in our experience, in community, and most of all in Jesus Christ.
When we trust in God at all times, what difference will this make? The answers of Psalm 62 are surprisingly diverse. Verse 8, for example, says, “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” In the safety and security of relationship with God, we are invited to tell God anything and everything. We don’t have to hide our fear, doubt, anger, sadness, and disappointment. God gives us freedom to be fully ourselves with him, sharing fully our joys and our sorrows, our longings and our losses.
Yet, Psalm 62 also models a different kind of being in God’s presence. Verse 5 reads, “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.” When we are secure in God’s presence we can both pour out our hearts and, at other times, wait in stillness. Before God, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
Because God is always our mighty rock, our deliverance, our fortress, and our refuge, we can trust him at all times, including “these uncertain times.” There is no time at which God is not trustworthy. In fact, the insecurity of our current times encourages us to trust God even more. We may not be able to rely on a flourishing economy or the wonders of medical science, we may not feel confident in the wisdom of our leaders and pundits, but we can accept the invitation of Psalm 62 and put our full trust in God, our refuge in all times.
When you put your trust in someone, perhaps your spouse, parent, or doctor, why do you do so? What is it about someone that enables you to trust that person?
What is it about God that enables you to put your trust in him?
When you have a hard time trusting God, why is this true?
What helps you to trust God even in “uncertain times”?
Psalm 62 invites you to be in God’s presence in different ways. You can wait for God in silence. Or you can pour out your heart to God. Or, of course, you could do both. Choose one of these modes of being and spend some time with the Lord, either quietly or expressively.
Gracious God, thank you for being our mighty rock, our deliverance, our fortress, our refuge. Thank you for your care and protection. Thank you for the freedom you give us to be fully ourselves with you. Most of all, thank you for saving us by grace the Jesus Christ. How grateful we are!
Help me, Lord, to trust you because of who you are. Help me to trust you at all times, in good times and bad times, in secure times and uncertain times. Help me to trust you in the midst of the uncertainty and pain of the coronavirus pandemic. There is so much I cannot know. But I can know you and put my confidence in you. Indeed, you alone are my hope, Sovereign Lord. Amen.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling Archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: The Hillsides Blossom with Joy
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.