Once, a friend was hiking nearby and she lost her way. Night came upon her and her companions, and all they could do was stop and wait for daylight and their rescuers. This is so like our hike through an enchanted forest called the Psalms this year. We have been enjoying the highlights as we quickly hike while it is still day. Because soon, the beauty will be enveloped in darkness.
The lovely waterfalls and creeks of Psalms 1-2 calling us to praise have turned into laments—one after another as though there is no good news. The Psalms—the Scriptures—are full of such realism. Yet good news—daylight—will come as we continue hiking, since we read the Psalms from the perspective of their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus the Christ—Messiah (2 Corinthians 1:20). We read with one eye on the future.
Does a reading of the Old Testament with a view to Jesus seem exotic? Listen then to Luke’s words about Jesus on the road to Emmaus, “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27). And later, recording other resurrection appearances, Luke notes, “Now He said to them, ‘These things are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled’” (24:44). No wonder one popular devotional calls the Psalms, “The Songs of Jesus.”
So, in the midst of the Psalmist’s woes about enemies and nights we look to their ultimate defeat in the Messiah. Our laments of every kind will dissolve soon. Until that day, we acknowledge our enemies—afflictions, rejections, oppressions (“demons” we sometimes say)—and we grow in fellowship with our Deliverer, Jesus Christ. I have found great joy in this verse in recent days, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).
There are several immeasurable gifts in the context of 1 Corinthians 1. God’s saving “grace” comes early, and it is “in Christ Jesus.” Our feeble works to appease God don’t measure an ounce in comparison to the limitless grace of God. Paul promises Christ-following Corinthians a blameless reception—He will “confirm you to the end”—in “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In verse 9, the Apostle gives us a present joy and blessing and hope: We have been called to “fellowship” with the Son of God, “Jesus Christ our Lord.”
To fellowship is to commune or partner with Christ in the outworking and fulfilling of God’s kingdom plan for earth, the church, and ourselves. One Greek word specialist notes about the word fellowship: “It expresses the blending together of two wills into one common cause.” Could this be true in our laments?
Dear One, whatever your cause for lament, never forget you are not alone.