Saturday, May 10, 2014

Resurrecting Hope

"Then I thought, 'To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.' I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider Your mighty deeds." Psalm 77:10-12

We find here a theme that is all too familiar in the book of Psalms. Asaph the psalmist is crying out to God in despair. He feels forgotten. Overlooked. Faint in spirit. Rejected. Disregarded. Anxious and unable to sleep. His hopes dashed. 

Considering the psalmist's stressed state of mind, we see his despair rooted in wrong thinking. In verses 1-9 his mind is fixed on the discouraging circumstances that surround him. Such stressors might come from delayed or unanswered prayer, marital or financial struggles, wayward children, strained relationships, health concerns, shattered dreams, death of a loved one, or countless other trials. His mind was focused on the things he could account for: the facts and the things he saw or felt. But Asaph's view is limited. And feelings are not trustworthy. His finite view was never meant to be his source of hope. In limiting his faith only to what he could discern in the situation, he limited his view of God. A small view of God made his circumstances feel overwhelming.

But in verse 10, after wallowing in his despair, he has a thought. A thought no doubt placed by the Holy Spirit. He decides to shift his focus and console himself by remembering the goodness of God. 

The miracles.
His power and might.
His leadership.
God's faithfulness.

He focuses on the power and authority represented by "the right hand of the Most High". In so doing, he becomes intentional about fixing his mind on the truth of God's character vs. the lies and doubt he had so easily succumb to. 

Some circumstances in life are meant for the testing of our faith. Others are "our cross to bear" so to speak, meant to bring God glory and accomplish His divine purposes. Either way, when we fix our mind on the problem, our view of God becomes small. We are easily overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed or angry. But when we shift our focus to "the right hand of the Most High," putting God in His proper place in our lives, our circumstances pale in comparison. We remember His ability to redeem them. Or to do something in us through them. Consoling one's heart and mind (or inner self) with remembrances of God's faithfulness, meditating on His goodness, and reflecting on His abilities is good therapy. It's preaching the gospel to yourself. For the discouraged and despairing it causes a shift in mindset. 

It lightens the heavy load. 
It lifts our downtrodden spirit.
It resurrects hope. 

Lord Jesus, You are Almighty, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and You sit at the right hand of the Father. Whatever our circumstance,You want our eyes fixed on You because You are Able. Able to bring peace. Able to bring joy. Able to bring hope. Able to make us content. Able to make a way. For Your ways are higher than ours. You see the big picture. You have a grand, master plan. Help us not to get wrapped up in our finite view that leads to despair. Rather, help us to fix our eyes on You and Your abilities, and rest in the fact that You have our best interest at heart. Father God, You always know best. May our hope and peace be in You alone. In Jesus' name, amen.

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