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Focus: Predicting a positive outcome
Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV) I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.
In his lifetime—David the shepherd/psalmist/king had a lot of highs and lows. There are some key things to be learned from the passages he wrote—especially if you are recovering from depression and dependency.
When you read all seventeen verses of Psalm 40—by the time you get to the end, it seems like maybe it was written backwards. The Psalm starts out sounding like David just had this amazing victory and deliverance. He is writing as though a huge trial is behind him and now everything is all better. But, when you get down to the end, you start thinking ‘well, maybe not’. By the last verse of the chapter, you are aware the writer is in fact at a point of desperation—and that in verses one through three—he was making a ‘faith statement’ of how things were going to turn out. David was ‘encouraging himself in the Lord’. By looking at his present circumstances through the eyes of faith—he was calling things that were not as though they were.
David’s life was filled with extreme challenges. A considerable amount of the time he was pursued by enemies. Much of his writing indicates he was ‘sought after’…but not in a good way. His words often communicate suffering. Frequently, he states that he has nowhere left to turn. All of his options are used up and his back is against a wall. Over and over, he says everyone is against him and his life is in danger. Do you think it’s strange that someone who God called the apple of his eye would be allowed to live in such conflict? Does his life sound anything like yours?
When David was challenged—he wrote. It couldn’t have been easy for him, but he did it anyway. By writing down his challenges and victories, he was able to leave a legacy. At this time of challenge in your own life, are you writing? I would like to encourage you to do as David did.
I don’t know how the description of your life would read at the moment, but in this Psalm, David is in a slippery place. He is having trouble standing up. He is surrounded by dirt and muck. He isn’t in a puddle of mud. He is in a deep pit where the walls are slimy and high. There is no human way out. Does that sound like your life? At the end of the chapter David says he is poor and needy. Maybe you are that, too.
My question to you is, are you writing any of this down? Are you making notes about your circumstances? We would not have known what David was facing here—if he had not made some notes.
You are in a period of challenge and in a time of ‘waiting on the Lord’ to come to your rescue. You could look at this day and think, ‘there is no way out—no hope for me—no future’. Or, you could do what David did. What have you got to lose? You could get a paper and pencil and write down a list of what you are facing—and write it as though it has all ‘come to pass’. You could say through the eyes of faith how it all turned out.
How would you like things to turn out? Can you verbalize it? Can you write it down? That’s what David did. David wasn’t in his present circumstances in his mind. He was looking ahead and predicting a positive outcome for himself. He was predicting an outcome that would be so amazing and victorious–it would become a song people would sing. David was declaring that as people would read his words in the future—that many would put their faith in God and honor Him in their lives. It pretty much turned out the way he said, didn’t it? It could work the same way for you….
Declaration: I will find new strength by writing a positive ending to my present circumstances. In the future, my story will bring hope and encouragement to others and God will receive the glory.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book in 2013, by the grace of God. To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.
For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW5unzXXC0