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S (Scripture): Psalm 27
Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out—
have mercy on me and answer me!
Come, my heart says, seek God’s face.
Lord, I do seek your face!
Please don’t hide it from me!
Don’t push your servant aside angrily—
you have been my help!
God who saves me,
don’t neglect me!
Don’t give me over to the desires of my enemies,
because false witnesses and violent accusers
have taken their stand against me.
But I have sure faith
that I will experience the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living!
Hope in the Lord!
Be strong! Let your heart take courage!
Hope in the Lord!
O (Observation): The hope that comes into play at the end of this Psalm is almost like from a friend speaking to another friend who has lost hope. The psalmist seeks out God in the pit of despair. The friendly voice in v. 14 is a reminder that God – the Lord – is still there beside the person.
Hope is possible, not because the individual can get back on track “without help.” Rather, because the psalmist cannot help himself/herself, hope exists. Because the psalmist lacks comfort, the LACK allows space for him / her to hope.
A (Application): We like to think hope is something that we can grasp in this life, as if hope is something to be reached through hard work and effort. Yet the nature of hope is that it is precisely something we cannot reach. For if it is something we can grasp on our own, then we don’t hope for it…we just create a plan to reach it.
If we can reach the thing(s) we hope for…then it’s not hope. We hope for money, a new car, control, power, and more. These things we “hope” for – if attained – is quite the opposite of good news. It means we think we can satisfy our drive or appetite and pushes us to acquire more of the same (if not material things, than power or control).
Let us, instead, focus on the idea that God never leaves us and can be our hope. In. Our brokenness, God enters in and helps us to be okay with our brokenness. For God does not need us to prove anything. Rather, God focuses our hearts and minds on being with others who are also broken…and together we lean on one another for consolation and hope. Hope in the Lord.
P (Prayer): Lord, keep us filled with hope in You. Amen.