The Right Focus
O my people, trust in him at all
times. Pour out your heart to
Him for God is our refuge.
How easy it is to forget to trust God when things aren’t going like we hoped they would. How easy it is to become discouraged and feel hopeless or that anything will change. This week, my son called. It did not end well, but I heard God say to my heart, “This is an opening.” And indeed it is turning out to be. Not an opening to talk about God yet, but an opening into his world of what he calls rational thinking. I cried when I got off the phone that night, but when God spoke those words to me, a glimmer of hope set in. I poured out my heart to Him and He gave me hope in place of my sadness.
David, the man who wrote the verse above, had so many reasons to lose hope, to become discouraged, and to feel defeated. We see it over and over in the Psalms. He is depressed or feeling hopeless and he cries out to the Lord and is honest with his feelings. But he always ends with praise and is encouraged by the Lord’s presence. He says things like, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.” (Psalm 62:5-7 NLT)
1 & 2 Samuel tell us many stories of David and we see the numerous reasons he had to feel discouraged. We see how sometimes it felt like God wasn’t listening or answering or rescuing. Think of how long he was on the run from Saul after Saul urged his servants and his son to assassinate him (1 Samuel 19:1). Or how about when the prophet, Nathan, confronted him with his sin of adultery, murder and cover-up? (2 Samuel 12:1-12). Or when his daughter was raped by her half brother Amnon? (2 Samuel 13:14). And then there was Absalom. He killed Amnon for what he did to Tamar and then fled (2 Samuel 13:29, 37). After he returned, he had it in for his dad. He found others who joined him in rebelling against his father. David had to flee from his home in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:13-16). When you read about David’s life, you can understand the agony he went through. When you read the Psalms, you can actually feel his agony. And you can feel his joy in the Lord. Through it all, he didn’t lose his faith in God. He never stopped believing God was his refuge. He never doubted God’s goodness. Rather he said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).
David had the right focus. And so can we. We don’t have to be dishonest about our struggle or how we feel, but neither can we forget who God is and what He is able to do for us if we keep our eyes on Him.
The head that once was crowned with thorns Is crowned with glory now The Savior knelt to wash our feet Now at his feet we bow The one who wore our sin and shame Now robed in majesty The radiance of perfect love Now shines for all to see Your name Your name Is victory All praise Will rise To Christ our king The fear that held us now gives way To him who is our peace His final breath upon the cross Is now alive in me Your name Your name Is victory All praise Will rise To Christ our king By Your spirit I will rise From the ashes of defeat The resurrected king Is resurrecting me In Your name I come alive To declare your victory The resurrected king Is resurrecting me The tomb where soldiers watched in vain Was borrowed for three days His body there would not remain Our God has robbed the grave Our God has robbed the grave Your name Your name Is victory All praise Will rise To Christ our king By Your spirit I will rise From the ashes of defeat The resurrected king Is resurrecting me In your name I come alive To declare Your victory The resurrected king Is resurrecting me The resurrected king Is resurrecting me