15 But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Psalm 49:15
The psalmist, in writing this one verse, is addressing those who mistakenly put their trust in riches. There are five stanzas into which most scholars divide Psalm 49. There is an introduction, the folly of trusting in wealth, the inevitability of death, the wisdom of trusting in God and finally the encouragement to embrace wisdom in light of the folly of riches.
For today it is not my intent to discuss riches, but instead to encourage each of us to realize that the principle mentioned in this passage is true for everything we put our trust in instead of putting our trust in God. Many of us use food as our go-to coping. Whenever we turn to anything other than God, we are putting our trust in something that is only temporary.
The psalmist, in the earlier verses in chapter 49, tells us that those who trust in riches will perish and that those who chase after riches will have the same fate. Whether we are chasing after riches or something else, what we need is God and to place our trust in God. Chasing after a stress relief or a pleasure provider always ends in frustration. The pleasures of this world are momentary, and stress relief that becomes our focus in life leads to death. In many areas of life, we call them addictions, whether it is food, alcohol, drugs or even sexual promiscuity. There are other activities that we can participate in that while not recognized as addictions still become escape tools that lead us to death. People who spend hours a day in front of a television, playing computer games, gambling online or in person, or any number of activities that are not in the least bit productive…all of these behaviors lead us to death.
Please understand that I am not suggesting that enjoying a good book or a favorite television show or even a piece of fried chicken leads to death. What I am saying is that when we use these items or activities to fill the void in our lives, we place our trust in things rather than in God. When we place our trust in things, we fail to embrace the life Jesus has for us.
Let me wrap this up by explaining that our verse for today describes what happened in my life. In my time on Biggest Loser and numerous occasions since the ending of the show, I have had to make choices. It was not exercise and eating right that saved my life. Those activities are behaviors that I practice today. Instead, what saved my life was the fact that I encountered God and put my trust in him. My new behaviors grew out of my love for him, for myself and even my family. I embraced God as my redeemer.
What did God do? He completely redeemed my life. I was on course for an early death. Kidney infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, intestinal blockages, sepsis; all of these were part of my medical struggles prior to the change. My life was redeemed.
In this verse, there is eternal meaning implied. I recognize that redeeming my life and snatching me from the power of the grave has eternal meaning. What I think many people today fail to realize is that redemption, while not complete, begins right now. For those who are redeemed, death is only a gateway.
I had never felt more alive than when I put my trust in the Lord and accepted his redemption.
How do you put your trust in the Lord? Are you trusting in God or your meal plan? Realize that our power source for change is God. Meal plans, exercise and good information are only tools for us to use in God’s power and his will.
My faith is not in exercise, meal plans, food logging or any of the other skills, activities or tools I encourage people to use. My faith is in God. Those activities are simply the things I do out of my love for him, my family and myself so that I can achieve all the life God intends for me to live on this earth.
God redeems; we live. Go out and live a little today. This is our worship to him.