Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Christians are those who know the Lord’s name: his identity and character as the God who reveals himself, the God who saves a wretched people, the God we know in and through Jesus. We know him personally and place our trust in him, because he has proven himself trustworthy.
How has he proven himself? The Psalmist could point to the Exodus, and to countless individual stories, to show the trustworthiness of God. He could point to promises made and promises kept. He could speak of the Lord’s covenant with his people. He could confidently assert that God had never forsaken his people in the past, and so they could trust him in the future.
Trust him to do what? Ultimately by God the Son taking on our nature in the person of Jesus, whose name literally means “God our Saviour”. The Lord’s name – his identity as the God who saves – is made known personally. Knowing Jesus and all that he’s done for us, we have perfect grounds for trusting in God. We have confidence he will never leave or forsake us, even in the midst of darkness, because Jesus went through the dark night of death and rose to resurrection life. Like a needle pulling a thread through dark cloth, Jesus takes us through death to new life in him.
Who does he do this for? All those who seek him, who look to him, who find their refuge in him. The Christian life is not about seeking an abstract salvation, or simply a ticket out of hell. The Christian life is about seeking, running after, throwing ourselves on Jesus, our Refuge, our Champion, our Brother and our King. Our ultimate sin is to have rejected the life that is ours in Jesus. Christians are those who run after him, like the Beloved of the Song of Songs searching for her Lover, turning to Jesus for life and salvation.
As another year begins, won’t you join me in running after Jesus? He promises us that those who seek will find.
What the Christian heart needs then is simple: It needs Christ. Bring me to him. He is my great physician, my wonderful healer. He is the fire that warms my heart and sets it ablaze. Bring me to him and not to a list of things to do. Tell me of Christ and not law. Tell me of Christ and not a step by step guide on how to live as a Christian. For if my heart is aflame with the love of Christ and my very being filled with the Spirit of Christ then I will walk in step with His Spirit.
Cat Caird’s reflections on new year’s resolutions, looking at what our hearts really need.
I wrote this for the 2010 general election. Given the elections in the US at the moment, I thought it worth revising and reposting.
Christians, listen. The one who currently reigns over the nations of men is the one who died a sinner’s death to bring you to the Father. Jesus is sovereign; Jesus is Lord. Whichever president is elected tonight, this will not change. You don’t need to worry! You can be disappointed, that’s allowed. But Jesus is still Lord.
It’s very tempting for Christians to forget that the ultimate political authority in the world belongs to the one who makes and removes governments according to his sovereign will. In the whirlwind of an election campaign, we can become so impassioned about our party or our candidate that this drops off the radar. We turn on our brothers and sisters from the other parties without realising it by issuing blanket criticisms. If we remember the true King, how can we do this? Politics is vitally important, but not of ultimate importance. We can argue our cases, and seek the common good for this world, always letting the Bible show us what our priorities should be in this. We can throw ourselves into the world of politics, campaigning, running, lobbying and voting. But when Paul writes “there is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, man nor woman, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28), he could well have added “no blue or red”. We cannot be too aggressively critical of our political opponents. We may disagree utterly, but we would be no better were it not for God’s grace at work in our lives. We have no right to feel self-righteous. Far be it from us to boast “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to [us], and [we] to the world” (Galatians 6:14). As we seek to be salt and light in our society, we should be distinctive in this way without exception, whatever our political views.
The president of the US is not the most powerful man in the world. His name is Jesus, and in him we see what a perfect ruler looks like. Let’s pray that our leaders would seek to imitate him – in humility, gentleness and sacrificial love – as we seek to do the same.