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Sometimes your situation just sucks. You look at the facts and you’re like, yep, it’s over for me now. This is the battle I’m not strong enough to win, and you start looking for the surrender flag. Well, before you start waving that little white flag think about King David. II Samuel 15 tells the story of Absalom betraying and rebelling against his father, King David. Rather than fighting, King David chooses to flee Jerusalem with his close followers, hoping to spare the city. I’m guessing he didn’t really want to fight against his son either. As David flees, he writes Psalm 3 to capture exactly how he’s feeling.
What I appreciate about this Psalm is David is vulnerable with the Lord, sharing his raw emotion about being betrayed, being the subject of ridicule, and feeling like everyone and everything was against him. He feels all his feelings, as my roommate would say. But David doesn’t allow himself to be trapped in his “feelings.” He acknowledges the facts of the situation, but then reminds himself that God is bigger than his circumstances. He declares the truth over the facts. Facts are facts. But truth….ah truth. Truth is bigger than facts.
Here’s what I mean:
The facts say: My son has betrayed me. Many of my own people have sided with him against me. The rest of the kingdom are talking about me. Telling each other that God’s against me. I’ve had to go on the run, AGAIN. First from Saul and now from my own son!
David could have looked at the reality of the facts and given up. He could have admitted defeat. He could have sat under his little cloud of depression and let the lamentation pour out of him. “Poor me. Nothing ever goes right for me. I’ve done what I was supposed to do, I don’t deserve this. My life is over. It will never be good again. I might as well give up.” But he didn’t!
Psalm 3:1-2 is David acknowledging the facts of his situation and feeling his feelings.
“O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!”“
Psalm 3:3-6 is where David shifts to declaring what He knows to be true. He reminds himself who God is and who he is to God.
“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain.
I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.“
Psalm 3:7-8 is David asking the Lord to change the facts based upon the truth.
“Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Victory comes from you, O Lord.
May you bless your people.“
David’s situation was real! He was in a life or death situation here. There was a real army invading his city, led by his own son. I’m not making light of the seriousness of this situation. I wouldn’t make light of anyone’s situation. I get that facts and reality are real. I’m not trying to sugar coat and say that bad things never happen. We live in a world that has evil in it. Good stuff and bad stuff happens to EVERYONE. Tragedy and difficult situations occur whether you are at the top of the heap or closer to the bottom. Jesus, Himself, said, “The father gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” (Matthew 4:45) God only gives good gifts, because that is all he has to give. But because of the state of this world, everyone will face issues and hard times. It’s just the way that it is right now.
I don’t know what your facts are. You may be facing foreclosure on your home. You or someone you love may be fighting for your life against disease or cancer. Or like David, you may have been betrayed. If you’re struggling, I am sorry. Truly. But if you get caught up in your feelings over the facts, your battle will be harder and longer. I’m not saying ignore your feelings, because you need to acknowledge how you feel about the situation. What I’m saying is don’t stay there. I’m also not telling you to dismiss reality and put your head in the sand and wait for the situation to go away. I’m far too practical for that nonsense. What I am saying is that facts change! You may get a check tomorrow that catches up or pays off all your bills. You may be healed this very day. You never know how the goodness of God will show up in your life. He’s the source of all creativity so it may not be in the way you expect. Something could happen in 5 minutes that completely changes everything.
Take David’s model and apply it to your situation. Here’s an example for someone who is unemployed and facing foreclosure of their home:
Facts and feelings:
Lord, I am terrified. I don’t have a job and I am six months behind on my mortgage and only a few days away from my house being foreclosed on. Not only will my credit be destroyed by this, but I could lose my home. I don’t want to be homeless, especially in the winter. I don’t know what to do!!!
Shift to the truth:
I know I am Your child, Father, and that You love me! I know that You are my provider. You have blessed me with well paying jobs in the past. You have provided for me during my unemployment. I’ve always had food and money to pay my gas and electric bills. Thank you for being my provision. You are good. You are faithful. You are Yahweh Yireh! The God who provides. The last time I was unemployed you provided me a place to live and provision. I know that you will continue to provide in this time of unemployment.
Prayer and Declaration:
Arise O Lord and Rescue me, my God! I cannot do this without you, I need a miracle. I believe you will provide! I will receive your provision no matter which way it comes to me. I thank you for the provision you’ve given me in the past and I thank you for what you are doing now on my behalf. I declare that my house is paid off in the Name of Yahweh Yireh. Even though I fear poverty and homelessness, I know your love is bigger than my fear. I know that your goodness and mercy are bigger than my situation and mistakes. Thank you for blessing me Father!
The facts in your life may be dire, but those facts are subject to change. Your identity, who you are in Christ Jesus, does not change because of your circumstances and situations. Truth is that you are a beloved child of God. Truth is that greater is He that is within you, than he that is in the world. Truth is that you are valued by God. Your worth and value to Him does not change because of the mistakes you made or your circumstances, even if they are bigger than you can handle. Truth is that God is bigger than any circumstance or situation, and He loves you passionately and unconditionally.