“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
What have you finally given up on? …..
What are you thinking you’ll never see, never do, never have? …..
Maybe you’ve been trying to salvage a particular relationship for so long now; and with so little progress to show for it; that you’re starting to accept its demise as a foregone conclusion …..
Maybe you’ve been wrestling for years with a pattern of sin and temptation; perhaps an addiction of some sort; with so many stops, starts, and teary do-overs that you suppose this is going to be your reality from now on ….
Maybe you’ve lost your grip on the powerful way you once believed that God would use you …. or you can’t get over the sore spot in your memory that won’t quit hurting …. or you’re giving up on ever finding the financial clearing you thought was coming after all these years of living paycheck to paycheck ….
Could it be that it’s just not in the cards for you? Should you finally resign yourself to the fact that your best days are most likely behind you????
Well; you could believe that; I could believe that; if we didn’t believe in the goodness of God. We all could believe that; if the Scriptures didn’t say things like, “I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13–14).
David was declaring here what cruel enemies had assaulted and the troubles that encompassed him, as one that wanted words to express how sad and desperate his condition would have been, if he had not been supported by faith in God’s promises. Even the best saints are subject to faint when their troubles become grievous and tedious; their spirits are overwhelmed, and their flesh and heart fail; but then faith is found: it keeps them from fainting under their burdens; it keeps them hoping, and praying, and waiting; it maintains in them honourable thoughts of God, and an expectation of relief in due time. But what was it, the belief of which kept David from fainting? That he “should see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” By which, he means, not only a continuance of the mercy and grace of God to his soul which he already possessed, and which supported him under his trials, but that he should outlive his troubles, and see and enjoy in this life that deliverance from his troubles; and from all his enemies, which is implied in the promise of the kingdom, which is what God has promised to us all. For, by “the land of the living”, he meant heaven, properly termed the land of the living; where there is no more death; this earth being rather the land of the dying. And nothing is so effectual to keep the soul from fainting under the calamities of this present time as the believing hope of seeing the goodness of the Lord in that world, with foresights of those glories, and foretastes of those pleasures, which are forevermore ours. As the promise is given us as such: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
So what keeps us from waiting and believing in His goodness? Well, our problem is twofold ….
First, we’ve spent far too much time striving to fix our problems ourselves. We’ve tried giving it a better effort. We’ve tried piecing together a more convincing argument. We’ve tried approaching it from a different angle. And every time we see these solutions not working, we think, “what else could I be doing? There must be something else. I’m just not doing enough, or I’m just not doing it right. I’m not trying hard enough” …..
There IS something else you could be doing. You could be getting still, knowing that God is God (Psalm 46:10) and allowing Him to work things out. You could realize that some of these things He allows to persist in your life; things you can’t seem to change, end, or resurrect; are perhaps there simply because He wants to show you how He moves when you wait for Him in faith, keep believing in His goodness, and stop reaching and grabbing to fix things yourself …..
Second, we keep monitoring these situations for signs of improvement, then roller-coaster all over the place based on how things seem to be going at that precise moment in time. But the goodness of God is not accurately calculated by taking daily readings of our current living conditions. We don’t need to keep grasping for evidence of His goodness in a pool of ever-changing, temporal data …..
All the testimony we need is found in the enduring declarations of His goodness that fill Scripture. We can secure in the hour of our trials and sorrow if we will stand on the promises of God, which will never fail us. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19). Underline the word “ALL” ; which is all encompassing. It means everything you are going through or enduring is going to pass, and God will not leave you alone.
If we’ll believe those, our hope will no longer be dependent on the temporary dips, spikes, and trends we perceive as insurmountable or never-ending. We can “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7), because He is good, no matter what. And we can trust that we’ll see that goodness ~ “in the land of the living” …..
Therefore, be encouraged today. I challenge you to read Psalm 34, and underline all of the promises containing the word “cry” and “all”. The Word will come alive as you realize when we cry out to God in our distresses, He hears, answers, and delivers from all of them ….
“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:8)
Let’s pray ~
Lord God, I will not despair because You have promised to show me Your goodness. Help me to face these coming days with greater patience; increasingly leaning on You and learning from You, and living in the confidence that You’ve given me to know and believe that You are good. Help me that I may do much less fussing and fuming, whining and complaining; and instead do much more resting and trusting, and acknowledging and believing. Increase my faith; I pray, in Jesus steadfast name I pray all this, Amen.
God is with us …..