“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23 NIV)
“Yet” is my favorite word in the Bible. That may seem weird, but what comes after “yet” in many verses so often is a startling declaration of the faithfulness of God, of faith, hope, or of steely resolve to persevere. Many times, these are some of the most beautiful and inspiring verses in the Bible.
What comes before David’s declaration above in Psalm 73 is his expression of frustration and anger at the seeming injustice of God, saying at one point, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.” (Psalm 73:13-14). His doubt and bitterness increase to the point of acting “senseless and ignorant” like a “brute beast” before God.
Yet! Even through all that, God is still there with David, even after he has doubted and spouted off a lot of stupid things. I can deeply relate, yet God is always with me too. He is holding my hand through all the turmoil and pain.
Sometimes what comes after the word “yet” is a declaration of belief that no matter how bad things are, how impossible they seem, God will come through in the end, as in Job’s great proclamation of the resurrection.
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes-I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27 NIV)
Sometimes it is a decision/affirmation that if things never turn out the way I would like, even if God never appears to “come through,” I will still praise Him.
“Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV)
And Job again, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15 NIV)
And Jeremiah’s beautiful statement of faith and hope in the midst of a long recounting of the horrors he and the people of Israel have endured:
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23 NIV)
And the most beautiful and heartrending “yet” of all from Jesus:
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42 NIV)
Yet. I will hang on to that word with all my heart, hanging on to the God who is hanging on to me.
Yet He is with me
Yet I will see Him
Yet I will praise Him
Yet I will rejoice
Yet I will hope
Yet I will follow
Image, Baby’s hand, by Fruity Monkey on flickr https://flic.kr/p/99tqDR