Is it possible to encourage someone when you are struggling? Is that the blind leading the blind? Maybe not. I have to believe that even though I may be walking through a valley, God has done things in my life before this valley, and God’s faithfulness is what encourages, not mine.
Looking back at God’s faithfulness is not a new idea. When we read the Bible, written by God’s chosen servants, we hear the cries of the imperfect searching their path for God’s perfection. They needed to remind themselves of God’s faithfulness in the past so they could trust him in the struggle of the present and find hope for the future.
Psalm 40 is a powerful prayer from David. I have to believe that he did not write this for an audience. I can see him standing at the foot of an impossible mountain, shaking as he speaks these words aloud, convincing himself that it is all going to be okay. Not because he is David, the one who struck down a giant with a pebble. Not because he was King. No, he was reminding himself that God would come through because that’s who He is. He is faithful and there is hope.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
5 Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened[c]—
burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me. – Psalm 40:1-13
We are so forgetful. We need to be reminded.
I freak out easily, I admit. Fear and worry can quickly consume me. That is the way of the self-sufficient, the one who lives life as though it all depends on “me”.
As I walk through a valley or climb an intimidating mountain, desperately searching for a foothold, I can do what David did. I can remember how God has been faithful in my life. How he rescued me, pursued me, forgave me, protected me, provided for me…
Share Your Hope
As I remember the goodness of God that I saw firsthand in my life, I can share that with you.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
I pray that you have an opportunity today to comfort someone, even as you walk through a valley. I pray that as you remember God’s faithfulness in your life, you would be strengthened and encouraged in your struggle.