Psalms 77:7-12 (NIV) 7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion? ”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
We had the most wonderful speech and drama teacher in high school, Mark Levitt. Other than my father, he was also my first guitar teacher. It seemed that he actually cared about each of us, drawing out things that were not all that easily extracted. I was a bit busy with sports and music, plus I didn’t really gravitate to drama, but it was required that all students take his Speech and Debate class. There were thought processes learned and inhibitions overcome in his class that have impacted my life in many ways ever since.
Particularly in the debate class we were given topics of political and civic controversy with the requirement of having to defend both sides of the argument. No matter one’s personal opinion or conviction, a case had to be made for the opposite view. This proved to be most helpful in getting out of a boxed thinking that disables transformation. It was realized that, while emotions might be strongly impacted by circumstances and slanted perspectives, those feelings could be altered by simply considering another side.
In the consideration of God’s involvement in our lives, there can actually be sides to this debate. Though His faithfulness is great, there is often a period of waiting in which circumstances and perspectives might be dominated with evidence of His absence and rejection. To remain in this view is to be kept in doubt, unbelief and hopelessness. Even though He is more than able and willing to bring victory and provision in any situation, He responds to a heart that is steadfast in its conviction of His goodness and faithfulness. There is often a need for transformation from the skeptical side to the side of belief with regard to the Great I Am.
David gives such a powerful directive for this in his psalm. Though he finds himself fixed on thoughts of despair and discouragement in his relationship with God, half way through his rant he gets another thought that is so necessary for transformation to the other side of the debate, “To this I will appeal” . He then begins to recount the exploits of God that far exceed the necessities of the moment. In going from doubt to belief in God, there was a requirement of acknowledging His previous mighty works. Though the darkness was tangible in the gloomy thoughts of despair, there was a way to the bright side in the praise of his God.
For us in this day there is more than one side to whatever we’re up against. There will always be a list of discouraging evidence based upon temporal conditions. However, there is also an opportunity to be lifted out of defeat’s surety by exalting the God of our salvation, what He has done in the past and what He will surely do yet again. Darkened thoughts of disabling doubt will be transformed by this appeal to the realm of mountain moving faith in praise.
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