While we may be worried about our past, unsure of our future, and troubled in our present, the Lord supersedes time as He is eternal. He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9, 13, 22). God is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2). He has no beginning and knows no end (Revelation 22:13). In Psalm 71, the psalmist praised the Lord for His loyalty and help in the past (vv. 5-13), present (vv. 1-4), and future (vv. 14-21). Because of his confidence in the Lord, the psalmist sang praises for the Lord’s faithfulness (v. 22), shouted with joy for the Lord’s deliverance (v. 23), and voiced thanksgiving for the Lord’s righteousness (v. 24). We must also thank the Lord for the past, seek Him in the present, and trust Him for the future. We show this by expressing our worship to Him right now.
The psalmist communicated the need for the Lord to rescue and deliver him in his present situation (v. 2). He took refuge in the Lord (v. 1) and trusted Him as the delivering Rock and fortress (v. 3) from the wicked who wished to harm him (v. 4). When we face obstacles, enemies, or demons, we must turn to the Lord as our Rock of refuge and let Him hide and cover us in His cleft (Exodus 33:22). The psalmist reminded himself of how the Lord helped him from birth (v. 6), through his youth (v. 5), in his present age (vv. 7-8), and he trusted He would do the same when he is old (v. 9). We should all want a lifelong legacy of trusting and praising the Lord! A trail of believing! God helps us through times of life when we are aware and unaware of His assistance. We must look back and realize that He helped us in our youth while we look ahead and know He will help us with what awaits in life.
Compared to trusting God in the present and the future, it can be easier to look back and admit He helped us in the past. While not as easy, we must walk out our faith one day at a time a well. Dedicating our future can sometimes be the most challenging part of our lives as many uncertainties exist. We don’t know the quantity or quality of the future! It’s easier to praise the Lord when everything works out and blessings abound. Praise is found more readily in hindsight than foresight. The psalmist shows us how he trusted the Lord even for the future by committing it to the Lord in the present. Consecrating his future to the Lord would cause his hope (v. 14) and testimonies (vv. 15-16) to grow. The Lord had been faithful from his youth (v. 17) and would be when he was “old and gray” (v. 18). He even prayed for things beyond his future to the next generation (v. 18b). That’s the result of a God-changed life! When the Lord saves you, your whole life (past, present, and future) changes.
- Do you look back and attribute God’s hand in your past?
- Do you look ahead and trust Him for your future?
- Are you looking beyond your future to other generations coming to know Him?
Thank You Lord for Your sovereignty. You are the God Who was, is, and is to come (Revelation 1:8)! I see how You have guided and helped me in the past, which increases my faith in the present. I will trust You for whatever may come. I pray my kids and grandkids follow and trust You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.