WHAT’S GOING ON?
I’ve found myself finding it a little harder to hope. With uncertainty looming from so many fronts — from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria, to the almost monthly shootings in the USA. Sure, these events are not happening to me, but somehow, I feel their effects. Not too long ago, with the decrease in supply of chickens to Singapore, even the seemingly simple task of buying a plate of chicken rice proved to be a feat in itself. What is happening in our world?
Sometimes, I don’t know how to feel or process these happenings. It is hard. At times, I feel hard-pressed to hope for some semblance of good news next month. Because to be honest, I’m not even sure what next month holds.
WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD HAVE TO SAY?
But as I sat in church the other day, with the preacher declaring God’s Word from Psalm 17, I realised that these feelings of being surrounded and pressed in from all sides may not be unfamiliar to the people of faith in the ancient past. David, the shepherd boy who became king of Israel, was in that place of distress and anguish. He described his enemies “as a lion [being] eager to tear his prey” and “a young lion lurking in secret places” (v. 12 NKJV).
Although his life was in danger from his enemies and fear must have been mounting, David refused to take matters into his own hands. Instead, he cried out to God to “attend to my cry” and “give ear to my prayer” (Ps 17:1)! David’s response was not to go against his enemies with his own might or cleverness. In contrast, David laid himself bare before God and asked God to test his heart; David “purposed that my mouth shall not transgress” (v. 3).
David refused to take matters into his own hands.
Instead, he cried out to God to “attend to my cry” and “give ear to my prayer”!
David was not going to fight his battle his way (v. 5). He determined in his heart and had the humble faith to allow God’s vindication to come in God’s own way and God’s own time. Trust is what David resolved to do. In the midst of trouble, he turned to God and relied on God’s help and vindication. He actively sought God and remembered who God is — a God who saves those whom He loves and who trusts in Him (v. 6–9).
Maybe today, your battles aren’t because of global wars or local unrests, but your battles take the form of war and unrest inside of you — the despair you carry around that no one sees; the crippling thoughts about yourself that you keep under wraps. Perhaps your battles are hardships in school or among friends or colleagues, or the difficulty of fitting in or having someone close enough to confide in. Perhaps it is the heavy burden of work placed upon you that is crushing you. The same encouragement holds true for you too:
“I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God …
O You who save those who trust in You” (vv. 6–7)
Today, God is calling to you to come to Him, you who are His beloved. He is asking you to give Him your despair, your heartache, and your pain. Turn to Him, and He will save you.
He actively sought God and remembered who God is —
a God who saves those whom He loves and who trusts in Him (Ps. 17: 6–9).
This brings to mind the hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. The lyrics sing of us beholding Christ again in our everyday lives. Despite our circumstances, good or bad, there is a call to be present and to “turn your eyes”! Not tomorrow, not later, but turn now. Sovereign Grace Music composed a modern version of this song, adding a chorus:
Jesus, to you we lift our eyes
Jesus, our glory and our prize
We adore You, behold You, our Saviour ever true
Oh Jesus, we turn our eyes to You
When we turn our eyes to His beauty, goodness, and faithfulness, when we behold Christ, we turn our eyes away from the craziness, the messiness, and the despair that we may be experiencing. It doesn’t take away these circumstances, but it changes our focus to the One who is in control.
Today, God is calling to you to come to Him, you who are His beloved.
He is asking you to give Him your despair, your heartache, and your pain.
Turn to Him, and He will save you.
To behold means to observe or to see, usually something remarkable to us. When we behold Christ, we are intently looking upon, we are gazing, taking time to appreciate Him. We let Christ be our centre. We can keep our eyes fixed on Christ and say, I trust in You, God, my hope and my light.
Would you come and behold Christ today?