Why are you in despair, O my soul? Psalm 42:11
My favorite Old Testament person is David. He was such a special guy. He was the only man in the Bible to have been given the wonderful moniker of "a man after God's heart." I love David's faith and passion for the Lord as evidenced when he faced off with the blaspheming giant, Goliath of Gath, and defeated him with a sling shot and a stick. I love his tenderness and grace as he dealt so lovingly with Jonathan's crippled son, Mephibosheth. And I love his honesty as he shares the struggles of his life in vivid detail throughout the book of Psalms.
Even in the midst of great discouragement, in the midst of enemies all around him, in the midst of King Saul trying his best to kill him, David clung to the promises of God. He knew he had been anointed by God to be the next king of Israel. Although at times that promise must have seemed more like a pipe dream, David held to it despite all the obstacles before him.
As far as I am concerned, Psalm 27:13-14 are two of the most encouraging verses in the Bible as David says, "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." David believed he would see the goodness of God in his lifetime. He believed he would see the great promises of God fulfilled in his days. AND HE DID!
BELIEVE AND WAIT
What are you and I to do when we face discouraging circumstances? What are we to do when everything inside of us says, "Things are terrible and not going to get better - just DESPAIR!"? Take hold of God's promises and wait on Him to come through. Take courage in the fact that God sees where you are, He knows what you are going through, and He cares for your soul. He has a wonderful plan for all those who will trust in Him and go His way.
AND REMEMBER THIS
God is always working behind the scenes. Even when you think He is asleep in the boat, the truth is He is working in ways you cannot see and do not know. Instead of speaking and praying words of doubt, unbelief and despair, start speaking and praying words of faith. Pray this type of prayer:
"God, even though I cannot see You doing anything in my dark situation, I know by faith that You are working on my behalf. I am one day closer to seeing a major breakthrough in these great problems of mine. I praise You that I AM going to see Your goodness manifest itself in my life before too long. I choose to wait on You; and I take courage in Your matchless presence and wonderful promises!"
You are NOT going to live permanently in the valley of the shadow of death. You are coming out of that valley one day soon - perhaps today! Believe it, receive it and begin now to make your celebration plans. Good things always come to those who faithfully wait on the Lord.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.