The great truth [of Psalm 31:15] is this — all that concerns the believer is in the hands of Almighty God. “My times”, these change and shift; but they change only in accordance with unchanging love, and they shift only according to the purpose of One with whom there is no variation nor a shadow of turning. “My times”, that is to say, my ups and downs, my health and my sickness, my poverty and my wealth — all those are in the hand of the Lord, who arranges and appoints according to his holy will the length of my days, and the darkness of my nights. Storms and calms vary the seasons at divine appointment. Whether times are reviving or depressing remains in the hands of him who is Lord both of time and of eternity; and we are glad it is so.
We agree to the statement, “My times are in your hand,” as to the results. Whatever is to come out of our life, is in our heavenly Father’s hand. He guards the vine of life, and he also protects the clusters produced by it. If life is like a field, the field is under the care of the great farmer, and the harvest of the field is also his. The ultimate results of his work of grace in us, and of his teaching us in this life, are in his high hand. We are not in our own hands, we are not in the hands of our human teachers; but we are under the skillful operation of hands which create and do nothing in vain. The end of life is not determined by the sharp knife of fate, but by the hand of love. We will not die before our time, nor will we be forgotten and left on the stage of life too long.
Not only are we in the hand of the Lord, but so is everything surrounding us. Our times are a kind of atmosphere of existence, all of it under divine arrangement. We live in the palm of God’s hand. We are absolutely at his disposal, and all of our circumstances are arranged by him in all their details. We are comforted that it is this way.
How was it that the Psalmist’s times were in God’s hand in this way? First… by the order and decree of God. All things are ordained by God, and happen under his sovereignty, according to his wise and holy predestination. Whatever happens here does not happen by chance, but according to the counsel of the Most High. The acts and deeds of men here below, though entirely according to their own wills, are the counterpart to what is written in the purpose of heaven… In your book every footstep of every creature is recorded before the creature is made. God has mapped out the pathway of every man who traverses the plain of life. Some may doubt this; but all agree that God foresees all things; and how can they be certainly foreseen unless they are certain to be?
…But David’s times were in God’s hand in another sense; particularly in that he had by faith committed them all to God. “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” …Our times are in the Lord’s hands because we are one with Christ Jesus. “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Everything that concerns Christ touches the great Father’s heart. He thinks more of Jesus than of all the world. So it follows that when we become one with Jesus, we become distinct objects of the Father’s care. He takes us in hand for the sake of his dear Son. He who loves the Head loves all the members of the body. We cannot conceive of the dear Redeemer as ever being out of the Father’s thoughts; neither can any of us who are in Christ be away from the Father’s active, loving care: our times are always in his hand. All his eternal purposes work towards glorifying the Son, and just as surely they work together for the good of those who are in his Son. The purposes that concern our Lord and ourselves are so intertwined as never to be separated.
To have our times in God’s hand must mean that not only are they at God’s disposal, but that they are arranged by the highest wisdom. God’s hand never errs; and if our times are those in his hand, those times are ordered in the right way. We do not need to puzzle our brains to understand his providence: a much easier and wiser option is open for us: to believe the hand of the Lord works all things for our best. Sit still as a child at your great Father’s feet, and let him do as is good to him. When you cannot comprehend him, know that a baby cannot comprehend the wisdom of his father. Your Father knows all things, though you do not: let his wisdom be enough for you…
What a blessing it is to see by faith all the things that concern you held in the hand of God! What peace regarding everything that causes worry flows into our souls when we see all our hopes on such a strong foundation, and preserved by supreme power! “My times are in your hand.”
C.H. Spurgeon, “My Times are in Thy Hand”, (May 17, 1891) revised and updated.