As we embark on this first day of the new year none of us knows what it will hold. There is a well worn yet still true expression that says, “We don’t know what the future hold, but we know who holds the future”. It will undoubtedly be a mixture of good and not so good as all past years have been, but we keep our focus on the One who holds our future. Psalm 59 under scores this as David is praying to God for help against enemies who seek to kill him. After pouring out his need he ends in verse 16 by saying, But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.” God is our stronghold as another of the Psalms says. He is our strength. And a good practice to begin each day is to declare, “Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning.” I am certainly not a linguist. I have a enough trouble with English, but I have learned the importance of a few words. The Hebrew word here in the New American Standard Version that it translated “lovingkindness” is the Hebrew word hesed. It is a word that has no full English translation. It is alternately rendered steadfast love or mercy. The lovingkindness of our Lord has a depth that cannot be fully put into words, but it is that lovingkindness into which we are bought as we enter this new year. Whether good or bad happens in these coming days the untranslatable depth of God’s lovingkindness will sustain us.
Most of Psalm 52 speaks of the evil people do and their rejection of the good God desires. Then it ends with these last two verses. “But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.”(vss.8-9) A few words often catches my attention. “But as for me…” I don’t know what you have before you this day. We all have our trials, and schedules, and demands. We all live in this broken world with it many uncertainties and fears. “But as for me … I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.” Lovingkindness is what we see when we look in the manger. The manger which we know is overshadowed by the cross. That is the lovingkindness of our God in giving us life and strength. Whatever it is that we must deal with today, we make our response “but as for me….”