Today, I am thankful for the truth found in this passage from Psalm 56.
What I’m calling the “formula” appears to be simple and straightforward, but it’s far from easy:
Hope = Trust(God) x Faith(God) – Fear
Look – I’m nobody’s math expert, but the verse sure seems to indicate that hope is defined as trusting and having faith in God, despite my fears. My fears may feel very real to me, but they aren’t true, when compared to my belief and trust in the all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, eternal God of the Bible.
I think God is asking us to shift our perspective, so that our hope is found in Him and His character, rather than our focusing on the size and magnitude of the problems that we may face. If we start there, then our hope in God will always outstrip our fears, even when the problems we’re contending with are very real and scary.
Remember this important principle: While our problems may feel very real, the Bible nonetheless says what is true is that God is sovereign, and that He promises to come to the aid of His children (read Psalm 121 when you get a chance). So, we are right to place our hope in the Lord, since He’s both faithful and completely trustworthy.
But as I said earlier, this formula certainly seems straightforward, but it’s not necessarily easy apply in our lives. When fear starts to creep in – as it so often does! – we have to ask the Holy Spirit to give us His wisdom, direction, and peace, so we can refocus our thinking on the magnitude of our God (and then view our challenges through this enhanced lens).
Here is my prayer for today: Lord, I am so grateful that You know all, see all, and have the power to do anything at any time. When fear enters my life, please redirect my attention back to You, rather than the problems that may cross my path. After all, only You are totally, 100% able to intervene in and transform my circumstances; as intelligent as I may believe myself to be, I am woefully inadequate to be the manager of my life, when compared to You. Help me to rely upon the formula revealed in Psalm 56:3, and to look back upon the myriad ways You’ve proven Yourself to be trustworthy and faithful to me in the past. In Your name I pray, Amen.