What is Our Portent?

Francis Schaeffer often spoke about the church and the watching world. He addressed these questions: How can we simultaneously practice purity in the visible church in regard to doctrine and life while also expressing love and oneness among all true Christians?  Tough questions about real life issues.

In Psalm 71, David talks about his relationship with the Lord being a “portent” to the watching world. I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. (vs 7) The troubles of his life had been viewed by others as having some special significance. The word portent can have either a negative or a positive connotation. It can mean a marvel, a miracle, a wonder, or it can mean a sign, an omen, or a warning.

David’s focus was not on what others thought, but on his hope in the Lord.  Who, O God, is like you. Though you have made me see troubles many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up. (vs 20) He is not speaking in platitudes. He is speaking from experience.

I think David might counsel Frances (and me) to stay true to our relationship with Jesus and not worry about how others might judge what happens in our life. Out of that maturing relationship will flow sound doctrine, joyful life and love for our fellow Christians. What are the keys? Seeking relationship with Jesus through the Word (the Bible), being in fellowship with other Christians, and spending time in communion with God through the Holy Spirit in prayer.

That is our portent, our special significance, to the watching world.



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