17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the LORD.
18The LORD has disciplined me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
The first four verses of Psalm 118 are a call by the Psalmist for the people of God to say (from their hearts) “the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever”. Four times he calls us to proclaim this. And then the opening words of verse five begin with “Out of my distress…”
Distress in the life of a believer is never evidence of a failure of the steadfast love of God. Never. In this Psalm, the Psalmist is distressed, fearful, hated, surrounded by his enemies, pushed so that he was falling. And in all that the steadfast love of the Lord never fails. If the evidence of God’s love is absence of calamity then God loves no one. But absence of calamity is not the evidence of God’s love.
We see evidence of His love in verses 5 – 7. He answers when we call, sets us free, stays by our side, takes away our fear, helps us and gives us victory. This is steadfast love and it is a love that would not be known if there were not trouble in our lives. God brings such things into our loves for this very purpose – to feel the power of His steadfast love. I would not give any of my troubles up if giving them up meant not experiencing the steadfast love of the Lord for me. And neither should you.
In verse 17 the Psalmist says that he knows he will live through his present trouble and not die. Why will he not die? Verse 18 tells us. So that he can recount the deeds of the Lord. All that God gets you through is meant to be for you to tell others what a God He is for you. The reason you have not died yet is to recount the deeds of the Lord to whomever He gives you the opportunity.
Today, in whatever things God has in store for you, proclaim, in word and action, “the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.” Go fulfill your purpose.