The chips are down, enemies are pressing in, things are looking bad, and yet David is hopeful. How? Or why? The answer to both questions may be the same. And I believe that the more I can understand the answer, the better I'll respond to tough circumstances in my own life.
After listing all the many ways that he's in serious trouble, I'm struck with how confident David's concluding thoughts are: "I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!" (Psalm 27:13). Then he extends an invitation: "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord" (Psalm 27:14). Usually that word "wait" in Hebrew is a mixture of the idea of waiting and hoping as if to mean "wait in hope." David's encouragement then? Hope, strength and courage. All in the midst of a whole lot of bad news.
So now I'm back to my questions of how and why. I want to know how or why I can wait in hope, with strength and courage, all in the midst of bad news. It's because this same psalm is about intimacy with God. In the midst of all David's problems, God says, "Seek my face!" And David's answer is, "Your face, Lord, do I seek" (27:8). And in the midst of so much danger, David says that the one thing he seeks is to dwell in God's house and to gaze on God' beauty (27:4). Time with God is precisely how and why David can so confidently say, "I believe!" David doesn't require new circumstances in order to hope -- he simply needs to see God amidst it all. In other words, the reason he can hope is a Who, not a what. I know that Who to be Jesus. Time spent with such a wonderful Lord and Saviour will always generate hope, strength and courage, even when we're surrounded by trouble.
That means we shouldn't just passively wait for hope, strength or courage to drop out of the sky. The God we wait for is the God we must also both seek and see as the beautiful God who inspires us to hopeful strength and courage -- whatever the circumstances! And I'm certain that the more clearly I see the God I seek, the more hope, strength and courage will grow in my heart.
© 2009 by Ken Peters