There are some situations in our lives where it can be hard to see the good. It can be easy to lose hope and fix our eyes on the seemingly hopeless situation instead of fixing our eyes on the Lord. I have nothing overly profound to share today but I hope it will encourage you as it did me this morning as I prayed through Psalm 69.
Psalm 69 ends with David giving glad thanksgiving to God but it doesn't start out that way.
I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
~ Psalm 69:30
David wants to sing a song of thankfulness to the Lord. As we begin the Psalm we can see that he is thankful in the midst of a difficult time.
1 Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
3 I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.
4 More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal
must I now restore?
5 O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
~ Psalm 69:1-5
Whatever is going on it is challenging and seems to even threaten his life. It seems to him that God is distant. David's thanksgiving comes in the midst of great pain. It was convicting to me to read this because of how often is thanksgiving the last place my heart is ready to go in the midst of trying circumstances.
As I prayed through this Psalm today it brought me to see how David was able to give thanks during a trying time and it was a reminder I desperately need again and again when difficulties in life come and they seem to leave me feeling “parched and crying out and waiting for my God”.
How was David able to give thanks? David knows that God is a sovereign Lord who hears and loves David. The whole Psalm is a prayer offered to the Lord. How can we not give thanks when we are known by the God of our salvation as His beloved children who he loves and cares about.
For the Lord hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
~ Psalm 69:33
David knew to look beyond the difficulty of the current situation. He believes that the Lord will cause the pain to turn out for good. He has hope in a strong and loving God.
34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.
35 For God will save Zion
and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall dwell in it.
~ Psalm 69:34-36
Every one of us is going to deal with situations where it is going to be hard to be thankful. We need to look beyond our circumstances to the God who controls our circumstances.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
~ Romans 8:28
David utters this prayer in Psalm 69 when it is still a desperate and dark situation. David has confidence in his God, but not because his circumstances have changed but because his God has remained the same.
May we look to the Lord who loves us and is strong to help us and hear us when we cry out to Him.