O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.
—Psalm 63:1-8 (NLT)
Nights are long when your body is dealing with physical pain or even fear like David experienced. David knew the fear of never being safe. He was prey to Saul. In the wilderness of Judah, he hid from those trying to kill him. In this psalm, David’s pleas for help move from earnestly seeking God’s support to praising Him for protection.
David encourages himself in the wilderness. He begins this psalm by reminding God that he belongs to Him and that he sincerely seeks Him with all His heart. His soul thirsts for God, and his whole being longs for Him in this tiring land where there is no water to quench his craving. But then in this desert place, David remembers experiencing God’s power! And here is where David focuses his thoughts—on what God has already done for him.
“I have seen you in your sanctuary,” David declares, “and gazed upon your power and glory!” With this resounding again and again within his heart, David encourages himself to trust in God's faithfulness. "Your unfailing love is better than life itself," he asserts. That truth leads David to burst forth in praise—giving God absolute credit for what he has not yet received. “You satisfy me more than the richest feast,” David tells God. “I will praise you with songs of joy!”
Instead of allowing fear to rule his mind, David lies awake at night, meditating on God's faithfulness. "Because you are my helper," David states, "I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings!" David experiences hope in his desperate circumstances. He lets God have control of his mind and feelings. “I cling to you," David pronounces. He knows that God holds him securely in His right hand.
Is this a picture of you in dire circumstances? Do you seek God earnestly—reminding yourself of what He has already done for you? Do you focus on those remembrances—encouraging yourself until praise bursts forth in your life? Even though David felt fear, he trusted God to take care of him. Do you know what to do with fear? You defeat it with faith. You overcome it with praise.
Don’t allow your illness—your circumstance—your battle—your fear—your struggle to defeat you! Jesus has already won your victory. To experience it, remind yourself what He has already done for you, and encourage yourself in the Lord. Your wilderness is not the end!
You have an advantage. David had God with Him, but you have Jesus Christ in your heart. The Holy Spirit is within you. When you encourage yourself, you have His power to sustain your hope that God heals, provides, changes circumstances, and delivers. Praise God for His deliverance, and you will experience His liberating freedom.
©2020 Lynn Lacher