Saturday, December 4, 2021

Focus on the "You's"

If I were a writer of hymns, I wonder how many of my hymns would begin the same way David began Psalm 86. Probably too many. As David began the psalm by calling out to God, he self-consciously lamented, “I am poor and needy.” David’s initial focus in that psalm seems like one big “I”“I am poor and needy.”

But then it’s worth noticing that in the next 16 verses, the word “You” – in reference to God – appears 18 times, and the word “Your” another 10 times. Yes, “I am poor and needy,” but David’s primary focus in response to that seems to be, “You, Your, You, You…”

Fast-forward to today, and I can certainly say that without Jesus, I am desperately poor and needy. But I know Jesus personally, and so I’ll do far better by focusing on David’s You-statements than on how poor and needy I may feel, because the truth is that with Jesus, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us,” no matter what the circumstances (Romans 8:35-39)! Jesus is the “exact representation” of the God who David was describing in his many You-statements (Hebrews 1:3). 

David put the spotlight on God as he declared that…

  • You are good
  • You are ready to forgive
  • You abound in steadfast love to all who call upon You
  • You will answer when I call on You in times of trouble
  • There is none like You
  • You are great
  • You do wondrous things
  • You alone are God
  • You are merciful
  • You are gracious
  • You are slow to anger
  • You are abundant in mercy and faithfulness
  • You have helped me
  • You have comforted me
And with that, David ended the psalm.


David began with “I am poor and needy,” but then after declaring, You, Your, You, You, Your, You, You, You, You, You, You, Yours, You, You, Your, You, You, Your, Your, Your, You, Your, Your, You, You, You, Your, and Your, he ended by declaring that You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me!”

That kind of focus helps and comforts me too. So today, I am going to focus on YOU, Lord, not on me, because that’s how I know I’ll be encouraged.

© 2021 Ken Peters

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