In a difficult period, the psalmist wrote that he would commit his spirit into God’s hand. In a divine service recently, the Chief Apostle showed that this still works today. And it is not just our spirit that can be placed into God’s hand.
Two months after the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider visited the congregation in Istanbul in Turkey. “I was deeply moved by what I heard, but especially by the dignity and faith of our brothers and sisters,” the Chief Apostle reported in his circular to the Apostles. The divine service on the evening of 3 April in the church in Istanbul was attended by believers from across Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon.
“Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” This Bible verse from Psalm 31: 5 served as basis for this divine service. “It is a word from a psalmist who had to deal with hardships and trials,” the Chief Apostle explained. “He had enemies who wanted to kill him. Life was very difficult for him. Nevertheless, he expressed his trust.” This devout Jew knew that God had delivered the people of Israel from Egypt, and he had already experienced God’s help in his own life. And that is why he was convinced: “God will not abandon me. He will help me.”
Putting our spirit into God’s hands
„“In the modern sense of the word, the spirit helps us to understand,” explained Chief Apostle Schneider. “As humans, we have a problem: our spirit, our mind, does not allow us to understand God.”
“We have our knowledge of God, we have our experiences with God, but we are simply not able to grasp the whole picture of God and will never understand God.” Despite this we can say with confidence: “We don’t know much, but we trust God, we believe that He is faithful, that He is love.”
Putting our life into God’s hands
“When the psalmist speaks about his spirit, he also means his own life,” the Chief Apostle explained. “We believe that God has told us that He loves us and that He wants to lead us into His kingdom. He wants to deliver us from evil and death and lead us into His kingdom where there is peace and eternal life. So we decided to follow Him. Figuratively, we walk hand in hand with God.” Deciding for God means:
- “We believe that He is the Almighty. His hand can save us.”
- “He wants to lead us into His kingdom, and He will complete the work He has begun among us. Nothing can stop Him.”
- “He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.”
Putting our soul into God’s hands
To enter the kingdom of God it is necessary to lay one’s soul into God’s hands. “Or, to use the Old Testament image, we say to God: we are the clay and you are the potter; teach us, sanctify us, and mould us into the image of Jesus Christ,” said the Chief Apostle. “To do this, God uses His word, and He uses our lives, and our experiences of life.” Even the bad things that happen to us can contribute to good.
Tools in God’s hand
“In the past, prophets used to say: ‘The hand of God was upon me’ to express the fact that they had been called by God to fulfil a mission,” the Chief Apostle said, pointing out yet another aspect of the Bible verse. “We know that after having been reborn of water and Spirit, we were called, chosen, and sent to fulfil a special mission. We have been sent to be witnesses of Christ in our lives. We have been called and sent to do good to our neighbour.” He urged the believers: “Let us put ourselves into God’s hands and be aware that whatever happens—in good or bad times, whether we are young or old, strong or weak—we have been called and sent to fulfil a mission.”
Time is in God’s hands
The psalm also means that God decides on life. “The time we have in order to prepare ourselves for the return of Christ does not depend on us. Actually, our time is in God’s hands. He will decide when Jesus will return,” the Chief Apostle said, admitting: “I have no idea when that will be.” That’s why: “He wants us to do right now what He tells us to do. We don’t know how much time we will have. So let’s do right now what He wants us to do.”