How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light. Psalm 36:7-9
It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial. Acts 23:6
The Psalms offer an antidote for the tendency to complain, to be bored, restless, overwhelmed, or impatient. This antidote is to meditate on the Lord, His Word, His steadfast love, and His constant providential care. On the flipside, the antidote includes a healthy dose of fear of the Lord knowing that He will destroy the wicked. Do not “flatter” yourself that He can’t see you and bring you to account for your sin. Instead, run to Him for mercy. Fear Him. Praise Him. Love Him. Delight in Him.
Paul must have understood this as his difficulties grew more and more serious. He used wisdom, even shrewdness, in addressing the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court composed of members with severe theological differences. In what we would call today a “sound bite” or “tweet”, he summarized the problem, “It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” Paul, by this statement, showed that, despite his imprisonment and the constant threats to his life, his hope was undiminished and his focus on the gospel was undistracted. His trust in the historic resurrection of Jesus Christ was the basis for his life and ministry. His words set off an intense and disorderly debate in the court. He was no longer the focus of their attention, but the subject of hope and the resurrection of the dead took center stage.
Think about it
The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Review this frequently when the circumstances of life are at best monotonous and at worst terrifying. Are you prepared for this day with its unforeseeable trials or, most likely, its predictable sameness? Whatever may come, seek to drink from the river of God’s delights. You are given the task of enjoying Him, today and forever.
 Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 1.
© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission