February 14 | Bible in a Year: Leviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26
When Life Is Hard
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
READ PSALM 16
Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, I curled up in my recliner. Our family had followed God’s leading and had moved from California to Wisconsin. After we arrived, our car broke down and left us without a vehicle for two months. Meanwhile, my husband’s limited mobility after an unexpected back surgery and my chronic pain complicated our unpacking. We uncovered costly problems with our new-to-us, old home. Our senior dog suffered with health issues. And though our new pup brought great joy, raising a furry ball of energy was far more work than anticipated. My attitude soured. How was I supposed to have unshakable faith while traveling on a bumpy road of hardships?
As I prayed, God reminded me of the psalmist whose praise didn’t depend on circumstances. David poured out his emotions, often with great vulnerability, and sought refuge in the presence of God (Psalm 16:1). Acknowledging God as provider and protector (vv. 5-6), he praised Him and followed His counsel (v. 7). David affirmed that he would “not be shaken” because he kept his eyes “always on the Lord” (v. 8). So, he rejoiced and rested secure in the joy of God’s presence (vv. 9-11).
We too can delight in knowing our peace doesn’t depend on our present situation. As we thank our unchanging God for who He is and always will be, His presence will fuel our steadfast faith.
By Xochitl Dixon
REFLECT & PRAY
Thanks for being You, Father!
How can offering God praise for His unchanging character and wondrous works increase your faith during challenging circumstances? What situations do you need to place in God’s trustworthy hands?
Several of David’s inspired songs operate on two levels. The first level describes the emotional weight of David’s own experience, whether good or bad, and the second level looks forward to David’s greater Son (Jesus) and what He would experience on earth during His incarnation. We see a clear example of this in Psalm 22, where David’s experiences of suffering and persecution perfectly anticipate Christ’s crucifixion—even to the point where David says his foes pierced his hands and feet (v. 16). A similar thing occurs in Psalm 16:8-11, which Peter quotes in Acts 2:25-28 as part of his Pentecost sermon. Peter said that David’s words anticipated the resurrection of Jesus. This is a marvelous picture of divine inspiration of the Scriptures. While David couldn’t have been aware of the future implications of his words, hindsight now makes their reality clear. Bill Crowder