Sunday, May 17, 2009

What's the One Thing You Want in Times of Trouble?

Life in this fallen world is messy - jobs are lost, family members become ill, projects fall behind schedule, etc.   Even as Christians, we contend with trouble everyday.    Perhaps you're one of the many who've lost their jobs in this economic depression.  Maybe you still have a job but it's fraught with difficulties and difficult people.   Or perhaps you might be battling a long standing illness.    

Sometimes the problems of life come upon us so unexpectedly that they can overwhelm us.   All we can think of in those times is our need for relief.  How do we contend with these and other challenges in light of God's active presence in our lives?   According to Psalm 27,  David faced many difficulties.   He contended with serious enemies who threatened his very life.   

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and my foes, it is they who stumble and fall
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident

Psalm 27:1-3

Under such pressure, what did David pray for?   What is the one thing he asked of God?  Not deliverance from his enemies, nor for his own personal safety.   Not for an unbeatable battle plan, nor the destruction of his enemies.

One thing have I asked of the LORD that will I seek after
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple

Psalm 27:4

Instead, David desired the nearness of God.  For David, to inquire before the presence of God was far better than a winning strategy.   If we have one thing to ask of God, what shall we ask for?   If we have deadlines to meet and troubles of every kind looming on the horizon, where are we going to find relief?   Where will we find peace and satisfaction?


Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, the psalmist seeks only God's nearness. A great point.

At the same time the psalmist anticipates God's victory in his present situation. He will be a part of that, as he follows in God's way- and there are petitions there.

Good to get me in this psalm and think it through. I'll probably be in it today. Thanks.

bradley j moore said...

Great words of encouragement, no matter what our situation or condition.

Every Square Inch said...

Ted - you make a fine point. I would even say that he assumes the protection and blessing of God. He's essentially saying - I'll seek God's presence and nearness and I'll assume with that comes the protection and blessing I need for my present ciorcumstance

Bradley - grateful for you stopping by.