Living In His Presence
Psalm 16:8-11—“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
A MESSIANIC PSALM
There is no doubt that Psalm 16 speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is affirmed by Peter’s message in Acts 2:25-28, spoken on the day of Pentecost, showing that the death and resurrection of the Messiah had been prophesied as a truth in the Old Testament. This psalm may very well reveal some of the thoughts that ran through the Lord’s mind as He drew near to the event of the Cross—the salvation of mankind. He knew that pain and suffering was coming and there was no way to avoid it. Yet despite the dark situation, the Lord expresses a faith in His heavenly Father and the promises that had been made to Him.
In Hebrews 12:2, we are exhorted to be “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Meaning, that as we travel through the trials of our life, we should have the same attitude as Jesus did—we should display the same actions, and we should express the same confidence in our God. We should see His actions, attitude, and faith as a model to follow.
“I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Ps. 16:8-9).
SET THE LORD BEFORE YOU
According to this testimony of Christ, He faced all of life by setting the Lord always “before” him. This indicates that no matter what He was going through, He looked to God as the sole means of His deliverance. His first response to any negative situation was to acknowledge that His Father was right there with Him. He looked to His God first and foremost for strength, for help, for comfort, and for the supernatural supply that would carry Him through. He never one time depended upon Himself, but always looked to His Father and the help of the Holy Spirit to resolve every dilemma, to handle every situation, to overcome every obstacle, to heal, to lead, to guide, and to provide.
Because this was His response in all of life, He also knew that adversity would not contain the ability to throw Him off His God-designated course. He understood that He would carry out the mission and the ministry that the Father had given to Him. He was not going to be moved off course or out-of-the-way of the will of God. Therefore, despite problems, He rejoiced from His innermost being and was able to rest in the most adverse settings or circumstances. We must follow this example! When trouble strikes, acknowledge the Lord, who has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Depend holistically and exclusively in Him. Understand that Christ’s work on the Cross has enabled our heavenly Father to supply us with everything we will ever need in every circumstance. Be glad, rejoice, and rest in the finished work of Christ.
“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Ps. 16:10).
A BELIEF IN A BRIGHT FUTURE AT A DARK TIME
Jesus knew that He was about to experience death on behalf of all men. He was aware that the sacrifice that God had asked Him to give was the sacrifice of His own life. However, even in the face of certain death, Jesus knew that the loss of His life would not be the end of the story. He understood that the payment of His life would destroy the power of sin and the grip of death, which held all mankind captive. Therefore, there was no doubt in His mind regarding His resurrection. God had told him that He had the power to lay His life down and to pick it up again. He was guaranteed that His death would not produce an everlasting state of corruption and decay. His body would be supernaturally preserved because no sin had ever existed within Him. So even though death was coming, He was confident of the resurrection. Even if the trials we face today were to bring us to the experience of death, our faith in Christ guarantees that just as Christ arose, we too shall rise.
“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Ps. 16:11).
THE PROMISE OF GUIDANCE AND PEACE
Christ knew that God would guide him out of death into life. We too should walk in the knowledge that God has the ability to bring us from the hurt, the pain, and the confusion that we now find ourselves in, unto the path of abundant life. He will show us what to do! He will show us how to face our trials! He will show us the path to life! And as He walks with us, His presence, even in the time of intense trial, will be sure to bring us fullness of joy.
We don’t have to wait to find joy, experience peace, or to bask in the pleasure of God’s presence. We can have all three of these marvelous benefits from God even as we march through the tribulations of this life. There is coming a day when we will never leave have to leave His presence. There is coming an hour where there will never be another trial or another test. There is coming a time when we will be at his right hand and experience the multiple pleasures of God Himself for evermore. Until then, express faith in His ability to provide for you and pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!”