MY TIMES ARE IN THY HANDS

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My Times Are In Your Hands

HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

As human beings, we all struggle with time. We are constantly working to fit more into our schedule, work more efficiently, and simply “save time.” At some point in our lives, we all struggle with the future – what’s going to happen, how things will turn out, how successful we will be. I stumbled across a hidden treasure of a psalm recently, one that not many people slow down to notice. It is Psalm 31:14-15a:

“But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God’. My times are in Your hand.”

What a comforting verse! Just like the whole of God’s word, this passage is a treasure because you can read it over and over and draw a new application from it every time. However, before we examine this specific passage, let’s look at the context of Psalm 31.

I advise you to read Psalm 31 in its entirety to get the big picture, but we’ll go over a quick summary of the chapter. The heading in my Bible reads, “The Lord a Fortress in Adversity.” David is crying out to the Lord because of his enemies; they are surrounding him on every side and are seeking his life. He is despised by everyone around him, and we can sympathize with his loneliness and despair. But more than David laments his trouble does he rejoice that God is on his side. He repeatedly calls God his rock of refuge, a fortress of defence, hiding place, and strength. David had nowhere to turn in his sorrow but to the Lord, and there he found joy, peace, hope, and rest.

Zooming back into verses 14 and 15, we can understand this beautiful verse a bit better. David couldn’t fear his enemies for long because he had something greater to dwell on: his relationship with his Lord. David had learned the real meaning of trusting God in the midst of bad times and held onto it with everything he had. He was able to use the oppression of those who sought his life to draw nearer to the Lord. But even more than all this was David’s surrendering of his “times” to God’s hand. With all of his enemies desiring to kill him, David could either let fear take over or give it all over to God, and David chose to realize that God was in control and knew what was best for him. Commentator Albert Barnes notes, “All that pertained to him [David] was under the control and at the disposal of God. He would “live” as long as God should please. It was His to give life; His to preserve it; His to take away. All in relation to life – its origin – its continuance – its changes – its seasons – childhood, youth, middle age, old age – all were in the hand of God. No one, therefore, could take his life before the time that had been appointed by God, and he might calmly commit the whole to Him.” It is interesting to note that David’s attitude of seeing beyond this life is also reflected in Esther (Esther 4:13-16), Paul (Philippians 1:19-23), our ultimate Example, Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:39), and many more.

How are our times in God’s hand today? What do we learn from this passage of Scripture for our individual lives?

Trust.

The first thing David says in verse 14 is “But I trust in You, O Lord.” In fact, you’ll find that the word “trust” is used at least four times throughout chapter 31. This is the most vital lesson we learn from this passage: simple, unreserved trust in Something far greater than anything we can physically see or touch (Hebrews 11:1-3). Proverbs 31:25 says of the “virtuous woman”, “Strength and honour are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.” (Other translations put it like this) The NASB renders the last part of this verse, “She smiles at the future”, and the ESV translates, “She laughs at the time to come”. Just as any Christian woman, we strive to be like this virtuous lady. A Proverbs 31woman isn’t anxious about the future because she knows her life is in God’s hands. Psalm 121 is an incredible chapter speaking of trusting our “Keeper”: “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand” (verse 5). As His child, my life could not be in better hands. May we be able to say like Jesus, “Thy will be done” (Matthew 26:39).

Patience.

The second lesson we learn from Psalm 31:14-15 is that of patience. As humans, we tend to become impatient with God’s plan and want what we want when we want it right now. But God is longsuffering with us – so much more than we deserve- and gently reminds us to imitate His patience, to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10; 37:7). Just think about it: God exists outside of time; He created time! If our times are in His hands, He knows what is best for our brief life here on earth. Let us learn to wait on God’s plan, whether it be in our relationships, schools, careers, or raising a family, because it will always be infinitely better than we could ever imagine! 2 Corinthians 2:9 says, “But as it is written, ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Personal relationship.

The third idea we gather is that of a personal relationship with the Lord. Here in Psalm 31, David’s close relationship with God is evident: “I trust in You…You are my God.” Earlier in Psalm 23, David says, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” Is He yours? For us to have true trust and patience in God’s timing, we must cultivate a personal relationship with Him. Jesus has made this possible through His sacrifice, for the only way to the Father is through the Son (John 14:6). A relationship with Jesus begins by being “in Christ” (c.f. Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 3:1-4). What a wonderful place to be! Philippians 3:8-11 is one of my favourite passages:  “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” {emphasis added}

What an amazing life the Christian life is, that our Father not only holds the entire world in His hands but also my life and yours. May we always trust, wait, develop our relationship with the Lord, and remember that our times are in His hand!

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Author: Sir Godfrey Gregg

Sir Godfrey Gregg is one of the Administrators and managing Director of this site

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