SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His Word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
Confidence in Difficulties
by Pr. Dave Mann
The goal that many of us have in life is peace and happiness. We want sufficient resources to live calmly and contentedly.
However, if we are honest in our reading of Scripture, such a lifestyle is not what we find, even among those whom we honor as heroes of the faith. Take King David. He is lauded as “a man after God’s own heart.” Yet, he was beset on every side with difficulties, from the years before he became king and throughout his reign.
Psalm 27 opens with a verse proclaiming God as David’s light, salvation, and stronghold. Then, the second verse shows the context in which David learned what it meant to have such a relationship with the Lord. He had the wicked advance against him. He experienced enemies and foes. He knew what it was like to be besieged by an army, and to have war break out around him. Hardly a calm and tranquil life. But that was not his life goal.
What did David long for? What was the one thing he asked of the Lord and only that did he seek?
... that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (v. 4)
David desired to be in the presence of the Lord, to be in close relationship with Him. If we desire anything else more than we desire God himself – even if that is a good thing, like peace, calm, tranquility, safety -- that thing is dangerously close to becoming an idol.
And yet, David found peace, safety, and confidence in the midst of very difficult times. How is this possible? Because David’s goal was to know God, not to be tranquil. Thus, because the difficulties drove the king to his knees, the problems became a means to the ultimate goal, i.e. to be in the presence of God. The day of trouble presents itself not as a problem to be eliminated but rather as a doorway to draw near to the Lord and to enjoy Him forever.
Lord God, you who desire my presence more than I desire yours, help me to see difficulties as a means to enjoy your presence, and to acknowledge you as my highest good. Amen.