Psalm 146 (NRSV)
Verse 1Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
Verse 2I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Verse 3Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
Verse 4When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Verse 5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
Verse 6who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
Verse 7who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
Verse 8the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
Verse 9The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
Verse 10The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
Faith may involve a wish or desire that something will occur, but it does not include a guarantee that the event will happen. We who believe in Jesus Christ know what he has already done for us and what he will continue to do for us. Hope is this same wish or desire but is based on some evidence that the event will occur. We have faith that is based on our belief. And we have hope because we have seen the blessings that we and others have received. The writer of today’s psalm reminds us why we have faith and why we have hope. God created us and is faithful in his care for us. But other human beings may not be trustworthy. We may find ourselves in prison or bowed down by the circumstances of our lives, but we are not left alone. We place our faith and hope in the Lord, and we know that he will reign forever.
Help us to hold on to you, dear Lord, when the wicked seem to have the advantage over us. Let your Spirit remind us of what you have done and what you will do for us in this world and the next. Amen.