David describes God as his “strong refuge”, his “rock” and his “fortress”. God upheld David from his birth and David gladly praised God. As an old man, David found even greater reason to worship God despite oppression by his enemies. “But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And Your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits” (Ps 71:14, 15 NKJV).
Compelled to declare God’s wondrous works, David asked God to be with him. “O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come” (Ps 71:18 NKJV). David was confident God would revive him again and bring him up from the depths of the earth (Ps 71:20).
Asaph called on God for restoration of the nation. “Restore us, O God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!” (Ps 80:7) ”Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. Then we will not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name. Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!” (Ps 80:17-19)
Abraham believed in God’s power to give life. He also fully believed in God’s power to speak of those things that did not yet exist as though they did exist. “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Ro 4:20, 21 NKJV) The same faith sustained Abraham as he waited for an eternal city which God would build (He 11:10).
Isaiah spoke of a time when God would exalt the humble. “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa 57:15). The prophecy pointed to Jesus who possessed all the power of God to grant life. “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will” (Joh 5:21 NKJV). That same Jesus offers life to all who will hear Him. Not just life, but eternal life! “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (Joh 10:28 NKJV). “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1Jo 5:11 NKJV).
It should not surprise us that the Holy Spirit also has the ability to give life. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (Joh 6:63 NKJV). “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Ro 8:10, 11).
God’s children have always relied on Him to lift them up. It is faith in God that sustains. It is our hope of eternal life that revives our spirits and gives us strength to face another temptation, another trial, another failure, another loss, another illness, another day, another year. It is God’s love that teaches us how to love, how to serve and how to live.
Ken Fleeman (2018-12-30)