We get angry.
We grow weary.
We become complacent.
Many Christians tend to fix their eyes on all that isn’t right in their life, rather than on what is.
I love, love, love how the introductory note of this psalm is: “A Davidic psalm. When He was in the wilderness of Judah.” I.e., when evil/crazed Saul, and his soldiers were hunting David’s life and he was hiding in caves with a gang of smelly rebels. But despite his dreadful circumstances, here’s what David writes:
God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips. When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches because You are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me. But those who seek to destroy my life will go into the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the power of the sword; they will become the jackals’ prey. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by Him will boast, for the mouths of liars will be shut. (Psalms 63:1-11 HCSB)
He’s able to say Yahweh’s faithful love is better than life. But how many of us are put in difficult situations and begin doubting His love? Instead of declaring the truth of Yahweh’s proven character we ask, “why me? What did I do to deserve this? When will this end? Why is God doing this to me?”
The focus is on ourselves rather than on Yahweh. No wonder things only get worse: not only are our circumstances tough, but our attitude is growing more sour rather than our character becoming more Christ-like.
When we allow Yahweh to build our character in difficult circumstances, things get better. Why? Because we have become better, and when we become better Christians, Yahweh is pleased.
Reality check: as Christ followers, we aren’t supposed to love ourselves and our comfortability more than we love Christ.
Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. (I Thessalonians 3:1-4 NKJV)
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (II Timothy 2:3 NKJV)
We are quick to forget all that Christ suffered for our sakes. We have yet to follow in His steps of affliction. We haven’t had our bodies crucified like the early apostles and our brothers in other parts of the world. Just last month a group of teenage Christians were crucified for refusing to deny Christ. And it’s only getting worse. The persecution of Christians is at an all-time high. May we be praying and thankful for all the comfort we still obtain here in America—even if we are “poor” by the government’s standards, or have yet to find a spouse, or any other difficulty we may find ourselves in. It can always be worse. And complaining about it only angers God and ourselves—and those around us.
May we repent of trying to please ourselves and truly live to please Christ. If we are serious about our Christianity, may we no longer love our lives and our comfort more than Him. May we serve Him like He served us. May we remember every morsel of food and sip of water and breath of oxygen is given to us by Yahweh. Every single thing that is still good and right in our lives are blessings, not entitlements. God does not have to keep giving us breath so with it we can continue complaining.
We were created to glorify Him, to thank Him at all times and in every circumstance; to know that despite the inevitable trials we face in this hellish world where the devil and his demons prowl, we have a hope to hold onto. Christ is coming back, and we does, everything will be made right and good.
Until then, let us endure hardship as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We may be out of here tomorrow and never have to worry about another thing again. Let’s prepare ourselves for that day of reckoning, when we meet our Savior face-to-face.
The grace and peace of Yeshua be with you.