Living by Faith

by David & Stephen Olford

David & Stephen OlfordText: "Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trustThou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy: at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16:1, 11).

Thought: This psalm is certainly messianic and depicts our Savior's triumph, both in life and death. At the same time the psalm provides an example for all believers to walk by faith and also to win by faith. Observe, first of all:

I. The Life of Faith: "Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trustTheir sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god" (vv. 1-4). The essential message of the Bible is that "the just shall live by faith" (see Hab. 2:4; Rom.1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). In these opening verses, David acknowledges that the believer lives, moves and has his being in God, and adds that the life of faith is dedication to only One who can make life worthwhile. Of course this demands separation from anything that would take the place which Jesus Christ rightfully deserves.

II. The Legacy of Faith: "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritanceI will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel!" (vv. 5-7). When the believer is introduced to the life of faith, he is at once entitled to the legacy of faith-"an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled...that fadeth not away..." (1 Pet. 1:4). What an abundance of blessing is to be found in the Lord Jesus! In Him we have the assurance of sufficiency for all our needs. Yet the tragedy, down through the centuries, has been that we have fallen short of God's purpose of blessing through failure to appropriate what is ours in Christ. Nevertheless, for David it was different. He could not praise enough the One who had led him into this fullness of blessing. Let us see to it that, like him, we possess our possessions in Christ. 

III. The Look of Faith: "I have set the Lord always before meat his' right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (v. 8). Here David turns our eyes to Jehovah, and reminds us that as we focus our faith in him, we shall find a new stability coming into our lives, new personalities, and a new sufficiency for every requirement. 

Thrust: May God enable us, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to daily maintain the look of faith, seeing only Him.

David Olford teaches expository preaching at Union University's
Stephen Olford Center in Memphis, Tennessee

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