Stable Faith in Shaky Times
A couple of weeks ago, we began a new sermon series through the letter of 2nd Peter. This series is focused on our need for stable faith when we go through shaky times. I’m sure that just about every generation has viewed their times as shaky—maybe even as the shakiest of times. That’s really understandable. A stubbed toe isn’t a big deal—until it’s your big toe. When you are living in shaky times, it’s hard to put life into perspective. But these shaky times remind us of our solid hope—a hope that produces stable faith.
King David certainly had his share of shaky times. From a young boy having to face lions and bears while protecting his father’s sheep, to facing Goliath, to enduring the antagonism of King Saul, his faith was continually being tested. The Lord used these shaky times to build a strong faith in David. From David’s perspective, he saw another issue; another ferocious animal, another blaspheming bully, another paranoid leader. But from God’s perspective, He saw another trying situation that would allow David’s faith to grow stronger.
One of the unique ways David dealt with his trying circumstances was by writing songs. In the songs, he often expressed the depth of his emotions—his fears, his anger, his perplexities. Composing these songs helped David put the circumstances into perspective. Though he may have begun writing out of pent-up anger, he would soon be reminded of God’s goodness and power which would lead him to see how God was using even this shaky situation for his good. So soon fear, anger, and perplexity would give way to faith, hope, and praise.
We can see the way this works out in Psalm 17. This psalm is in the form of a prayer to the Lord. David began the psalm with a lament, pleading with the Lord to hear his cry because he was being attacked unjustly. David proclaimed his innocence, even asserting that the Lord had tested and tried him and had not found any guilt in him. Yet an enemy was surrounding him, ready to pounce and destroy him at any moment.
The attack against David seems to have been led by one person (could this be King Saul?). The enemy is spoken of with the plural “they” in verses 10 and 11 but this changes to the singular “he” and “him” in verses 12 and 13. Whomever this enemy might be, David knows him well, and knows that his only hope is in the Lord. David turned his attention from the ravenous enemy to focus on the Lord—As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness (Psalm 17:15 esv).
Believer, that’s the kind of stable faith we need while making our way through the troubled times of this world. We can’t ignore our problems. We can’t wish them away. But we can gain perspective and find hope as we put them in the hands of the Lord. He is very capable of handling our issues—whatever they might be. If it helps, why not try putting your emotions on paper? Write out a prayer to the Lord about your circumstances. Compose a song that helps you express your fear. Let your emotions flow. But then, be reminded of your Savior who is the only one who can actually change your circumstances. Pray to Him. Sing to Him. And as you do, watch your faith grow all the more stable.
Senior Pastor, Gary O’Neal