Living a 'Green Olive Tree' Kind of Life

by H.B. Charles, Jr. December 21, 2016

"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of god. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly." – Psalm 52:8-9

In many instances, the opening line of a psalm reveals its dominating theme. Psalm 52 is a case in point: “Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day” (Psalm 52:1). In this psalm, David confronts the wicked (verses 1-7). And he states his confidences in the Lord (verses 8-9).

As David shifts his attention from the wicked to the Lord, he makes a provocative statement of his confidence in God: “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God” (Psalm 52:8a). In verse 5, David warns the evildoer that God “will uproot you from the land of the living.” Yet David is like a green olive tree. He is stable, supplied, and secure.  We are not exactly sure all that David had in might with this “olive tree” simile. But the point is not about what the olive tree is as much as it is about where it is: “In the house of God.” David was safe and secure in midst of the wicked, because he lived in the presence of God.

What are the trials, troubles, and tribulations you face? No matter what is going on in your life or in the world around you, you can face them like a green olive tree in the house of God. Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, focus on God and not your circumstances. Live with assurance that God is obviously present, actively in-charge, and dynamically at-work.

How can the follower of Jesus Christ be like a green olive tree in the house of God?

Trust in the Lord

David declares, “I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever” (Psalm 52:8b). To trust in the Lord is to live in dependence, reliance, and confidence in the Lord. This is the only way to face evil, injustice, and wickedness. You must trust in the Lord. The Lord is worthy of you trust, because of his “steadfast love.” God’s love is volitional, not emotional. God loves us because he has promised to love us and god always keeps his promises. God’s love is loyal. When others turn against you, God’s love remains steadfast. For that matter, when you turn from God to go your own way, his love remains steadfast. For this reason, it is good and right and wise to trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

Thank the Lord

David testifies, “I will thank you forever, because you have done it” (Psalm 52:9a). Thanksgiving to God is a clear evidence of trust in God. A life of worry, doubt, and fear betrays a lack of confidence in God. Trust in God’s future faithfulness is rooted in gratitude for God’s past faithfulness. What God has already done is a resume for what he will do. Thanksgiving fuels trust. In the midst of trouble, you are tempted to ask, “What do I have to thank God for?” But that’s the wrong question. Your focus should be on the source, not the channel. David sang, “I will thank you forever, because you have done it.” His focus was on who did it, not what was done. This focus on the Lord enabled him to give thanks in the trials he faced.

Wait on the Lord

David announces, “I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly” (Psalm 52:9b). A trusting and thankful heart will be marked by patience. This patience is not about sitting down and waiting. To wait on the walk is to walk by faith, not by sight. You walk behind the Lord, expecting him to lead you. You do not walk run ahead of the Lord, taking matters into your own hand. David’s expectations had not been fulfilled. Yet he hoped in the Lord, waiting on God to keep his promises. He was able to wait patiently for the Lord’s name, for it is good. Indeed, God is a good God who always keeps his promises. Wait for him! But don’t wait alone. Surround yourself with godly people who will wait with you as you wait for his name.

Are you like a green olive tree in the house of God?

Originally published at hbcharlesjr.com