People fail, economies collapse, and nations fall, but when all else fails God never will. He remains constant through everything. How comforting to know that there is One who will never be shaken, who remains consistent and faithful. Jesus spoke of a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Perhaps, He was describing our incredibly insecure global climate.
A few months ago, I felt a “call” from God to write things which I never intended to permanently set in ink. I wept and struggled as I felt the shaking of my comfortable rhythm. His ask meant opening the gates of my heart in incredibly vulnerable ways. Then I turned to Psalm 84,
“LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.”
Only one path leads to His blessing — the path of humble obedience and radical trust. The Amplified Bible verbalizes this trust as “leaning and believing on (God), committing and confidently looking to (God) without fear or misgiving.” I’m leaning and believing as I commit myself to trust Him in a new way. It would be a stretch to say that my obedience came without fear or misgiving, however.
In these moments, we discover in greater measure that when all else fails God doesn’t!
LORD of Angel Armies
In Psalm 84, the psalmist appeals to the LORD Almighty or the LORD of Angel Armies, just one of many names for God we find within the Scriptures. This name, however, stood apart from the others in that it was understood most deeply when God’s people had fallen away from Him and failed to stand strong in faith.
“In a word, we do not know this name, the ‘LORD of Hosts,’ till we have learnt the Church’s fall … are bitterly divided and destroying one another. But though (we) fail, God ever remains … when His elect have no other helper … God is and must be ever sufficient, for a ruined church as for a ruined world.”
– Andrew Jukes1
“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.”
We each know valleys of pain and tears. When our trust is in the LORD of Hosts, or the LORD of Angel Armies, those valleys become pools of refreshing, not just to us but to others who follow the same path.
When all else fails God doesn’t!
During our hardest times, God promises to take us from “strength to strength” (NIV) or “increasing in victorious power” (AMP). Only by trusting God in the valley of weeping does the fulfillment of this promise come true. Strength to strength! Increasing in victorious power!
The writer of Psalm 84 expresses His constant desire to be in God’s Presence.
“I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.
“A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.“
Do these words reflect my heart when I feel the conflicting emotions of weeping in the valley and shouting joyfully in His Presence? How clearly do I recognize my weakness apart from God? Do I long to be close to Him more than anything else — forfeiting everything for even one moment with Him? Or have I grown complacent and indifferent to the open door of access to the Father which Jesus provided?
The LORD of Angel Armies stands ready to receive us. No matter how far we have fallen or how great our failure, He welcomes us into into His courts, into His house, and into His arms of grace and mercy. One step takes us from where we are to where we could be with Him. We are only one step away!
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; He [presents] grace and favor and [future] glory, honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss; no good thing will He withhold …”
When all else fails God doesn’t! His promise to us stands firm!
As we take that one step toward Him in obedience and trust, He carries us the rest of the distance. Our fears of being rejected or falling short dissolve in His love and grace. Even our flawed efforts become radiant with His glorious touch over our lives.
If we choose to trust Him, my story, your story, all our stories become testimonies for the LORD of Angel Armies. He is the Lord Almighty who saves and restores the undeserving.
Your present point of trust may far surpass mine and your valley deeper and darker. But let’s move together in our fragile trusting, moving closer to our God who never fails.
- The Names of God: Discovering God as He Desires to be Known, Andrew Jukes, (Kregel,Grand Rapids, 1967), pg 157 ↩︎