The Book of Psalms
If you really want to know what you are like as a Christian, discover what you are like when you're in trouble. Adversity is the quickest way to reveal the value of one’s faith. What are we like when we find ourselves in the wilderness of suffering? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines David’s prayer in Psalm 63 as he turns to God in the midst of trouble. Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates a core Biblical truth: adversity always drives the true believer to God. In times of suffering, the non-Christian is annoyed and curses God. In contrast, the believer has just the opposite response. He turns to God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that this is because the true believer has discovered God’s lovingkindness to be better than life. Like a love-sick person, the believer is satisfied with nothing this world can give and is utterly miserable without God’s love. But with God, he can face anything. Nothing compares in value to God’s loving kindness. Listen and find complete satisfaction in this intimate knowledge of God. The Psalmist’s response to adversity should also be ours –– our lips should praise Him. Rejoice in God. He will never let His child go.
How can we know that God loves and cares for us? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims from Psalm 63:1-3 that Christians can know this by trusting in God’s revelation of Jesus Christ. A Christian that is maturing in their faith is one who rests on what Christ has done for us. This mature faith produces assurance that is not simply a passing emotion that comes and goes, but it is an abiding and true experience knowing we belong to God. That belonging is proven in a life of humble obedience. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones also warns against those who teach an assurance of bare intellectual assent. They say that to simply claim that one believes in Christ and his Gospel is all that is needed of assurance. This is shown to be inadequate from the many scriptural passages that show the deep and loving trust that the saints of God can have in the Gospel. This is an intimate and personal knowledge that God loves them and has sent his Son to die a cruel death on the cross so that they could be saved. This is certainly intellectual assent to the Gospel, but it is more. It is the product of the Holy Spirit working in their lives so that they trust God and his promises in true faith. This should be an experience that all Christians seek and obtain.