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Better Days Ahead

Friday, August 19, 2016

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13, esv)!

What have you finally given up on?

What are you thinking you’ll never see, never do, never have?

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage!” Psalm 27:14

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 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?

You could believe that—I could believe that—if we didn’t believe in the goodness of God. We could believe that, if the Scriptures didn’t say things like, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13­­–14).

So what keeps us from waiting and believing in His goodness?

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 not doing enough. I’m not doing it right.

There is something else you could be doing. You could be getting still, knowing that God is God [see Psalm 46:10]. 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 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.

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. If we’ll believe those, our hope will no longer be dependent on the temporary dips, spikes, and trends we perceive. We can “be still before 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!”

Journal

  • Why do you tend to want to fix or control your circumstances? Or why might you want to give up on the hope for a particular good thing?
  • List a few things you can hope in absolutely, despite the changeable landscape of our lives on earth.

Pray
Lord God, I will not despair because You have promised to show me Your goodness. Help me face these coming days with greater patience—increasingly leaning on You, learning from You, and living out the confidence You’ve given me to believe that You are good. May I do much less fussing and fuming, and much more resting and believing. In Jesus’ steadfast name, amen.


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