King David saw unthinkable atrocities throughout his lifetime. The ravages of war, poverty, disease, and famine would have been familiar headlines in the news of his day, and yet he declared, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1 NKJV).
David knew how to strengthen himself in the Lord through prayer, praise, and worship, and the man after God’s own heart continually spoke and sang to Jehovah. He was keenly aware of the absolute necessity of maintaining a right heart and open communication with the Lord during good times and bad.
Through challenging, fearful times, he reminded himself and others of the victories the Lord had given him. When Asaph, David’s seer, was in despair, he, too, remembered God’s extraordinary displays of faithfulness, as reflected in his words in Psalm 77:10-11, “This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” Those wonders included the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of Israel’s fierce Egyptian enemies, the pillar of cloud by day, and fire by night that guided the Israelites in the wilderness, to name a few.
Memories like that were powerful reminders of the God who loved, cared for, and protected His children. Both men had learned to encourage themselves by remembering the greatness of God. No matter what evil reports came back from the battlefield or what hostile enemy was in pursuit, these men knew that …the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth (Psalm 47:2 NLT). His sovereignty was (and is) ultimate.
Does the Lord have the whole world in His hands presently? Did He, as David faced Goliath or the many barbaric armies that came against him? When Saul pursued him and tried several times to kill him, did the Lord have David’s whole world in His hands? What about the infant Moses, hiding in a basket in the bullrushes of the Nile River? Did God have that “little bitty baby in His hands”?
The answer is yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Consider the following verses about God’s greatness. How encouraging they are, as we acknowledge that nothing is outside of God’s rule:
Job 12:10 (NLT)--For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being.
Psalm 95:4-5 (NIV)--He holds in His hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to Him, for He made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.
Isaiah 40:12-15 (NLT)--Who else has held the oceans in His hand? Who has measured off the heavens with His fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to give Him advice or teach him? Has the Lord ever needed anyone's advice? Does He need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach Him what is right or show Him the path of justice? No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand.
When evil reports come, and the work of the devil creeps in closer, our strength and encouragement is to remember that the same God who strengthened, encouraged, and helped David, Asaph, Moses, the Israelites, etc., is OUR God. What wonders has He done for you? Remind yourself of them often.
God hasn’t changed. He remains the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, and no matter what, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.
© 2023, Chris Custer Werre