“O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 131:3
Psalm 131 is an invitation to move out into the real world of noise, longing, distraction, responsibilities, conflicts, and temptations from a position of God’s provision and care - assured of his love and grace.
The psalm promises the result of such trust is a less busy, less noisy heart that is free to love God and others, and the process for enjoying such trust is weaning our hearts away from lesser comforts and impostor joys. Verse 3, the last line of Psalm 131, highlights the reason to initiate the process and persevere towards the beautiful result of calm, contented trust.
We all live in a world in which we regularly and painfully find our hopes dashed - by friends, by parents, by our performance, by our failures, by our leaders, and sometimes by our expectations of God. We have a choice to harden our hearts so that we won’t ever be hurt or have to go through the pain of an unfulfilled hope.
Psalm 131 reminds us that the problem with our hopes this side of Heaven and this side of the Garden of Eden is not that we hope too much but that we hope in the wrong things. Our problem is not over-hoping but the object of our hope.
Verse 3 urges us to “hope in the LORD, from this time forth and forevermore.” The LORD is the steadfast lover of our souls, the mindful and merciful Promiser-keeper, and the only object of hope that never will disappoint and lead us astray. Instead of “scattering our hopes onto anyone and everything all the time,” we have a certain and solid object of hope in the person and work of Jesus.
Do you remember the scene from the movie “Talladega Nights” in which Ricky Bobby’s car is wrecked on the race track and the engine bursts into flames? As Ricky Bobby runs in fear from the flaming vehicle you hear him screaming/praying: “Help me, Jesus. Help me, Jewish God. Help me, Allah. Help me, Tom Cruise - use your witchcraft powers. Help me, Oprah Winfrey!”
He is scattering his hopes onto anyone and anything that might give him some measure of relief in the dire circumstances he is facing. It is a funny scene that intends to show how desperate measures make people reach out to whatever inkling of hope comes to mind.
The great news of Psalm 131 is that we do not have to scatter our hopes! The reason we can go through the exacting process of weaning our hearts from the lesser comforts and impostor pleasures and enjoy the result of a calm, contented heart is that the LORD, the God Almighty, is our helper and our only hope.
All of his promises are fulfilled in Jesus, and he worthy of your trust and hope today!