I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD . . . Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage (Psalm 27:13-14 NASB).
There are some days when even ministers are given to despair. Days when we seek to encourage those facing physical difficulties, assist those encountering family strife, and comfort those sorrowing from death’s effects. Recently, such moments surrounded me, and I found myself in despair’s grip. It was then that my thoughts to turned back to a daily devotion that God has used in my life before. The Scripture upon which it focused? You guessed it: Psalm 27:13-14. Listen to the following excerpt from the devotion:
Do not despair! Oh, how great the temptation is to despair at times! Our soul becomes depressed and disheartened, and our faith staggers under severe trials and testing that come into our lives, especially during times of bereavement and suffering. We may come to the place where we say ‘I cannot bear this any longer. I am close to despair under these circumstances God has allowed. He tells me not to despair, but what am I supposed to do when I am at this point?’ . . . Once you have come close to the point of despair, God’s message is not, ‘Be strong and courageous’ (Joshua 1:6), for He knows that your strength and courage have run away. Instead, He says sweetly, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10). . . . That is all God asks of you as His dear child. When you become weak through the fierce fires of affliction, do not try to ‘be strong.’ Just ‘be still, and know that [He is] God.” And know that He will sustain you and bring you though the fire. . . . Be strong and take heart (Taken from Streams in the Desert, 188-189).
When I read these words, it appeared as if God had known exactly what I was going through and that He had spoken directly to me. And then reality set in. The Lord DID know what I was experiencing, and He WAS sending me a message! He was instructing me to stop and take strength in Him.
Often, that is all we can do. Instead of struggling against the circumstances of the day, we simply rest ourselves in Christ and allow Him to refresh us. His presence reenergizes us to emerge the next day with a renewed commitment to His Kingdom. In addition, we look forward to better days ahead. We realize that the moment of crisis is temporary as we are confident that God has something much greater prepared for us believers. No need to despair! Just look ahead! And join the Psalmist’s proclamation: I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD!
My friends, I look forward to seeing you Sunday (don’t forget to set your clock back one hour) as we collectively recognize the goodness of the Lord! My prayer is that He will encourage strength and boldness in us as we rest in Him! See you then!