Psalm 59: 16 "But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love, for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble."
Have you ever planned out what you will do in any given situation? Maybe it's what you'll tell the officer when you get pulled over for speeding. Maybe it's what you'll do if you get called on for your opinion in a meeting. Maybe it's how you will react to that annoying person who drives you crazy the next time you come in contact with them. But have you ever decided ahead of time how you will react to trials in your life?
I love the story of Daniel. One of my favorite lines from that book is "Daniel purposed in his heart..." You see, Daniel had morals. He knew ahead of time what he would do in any given situation. He committed ahead of time to do the right thing and have the right heart attitude. In the verse for this week, David said the same thing. He didn't have to think about it. He says that no matter what, He will sing of God's strength and love. He knew God was the only strong tower to help him during times of trouble, and he purposed in his heart that he would praise God.
Think about the imagery of a fortress. In olden times, when the enemy was attacking, where did people run? To the fortress. They ran for safety and shelter; they closed the gates to guard against harm. David knew God was the fortress to turn to...not his money, not his riches, not his friends. God, and God alone. He hides us in the shadow of His wings. He comforts us with His love. He is our shelter in the time of storm.
About two weeks ago, I was writing a poem for a dear friend who has been going through a terrible fight with cancer. The poem talks about why God allows us to go through the hard times. The wounds and scars we develop here on earth are nothing compared to the wounds and scars Jesus has from enduring the cross for our sins, and when we go through those hard times, it increases our faith. My friend has been a hero of faith through this ordeal, and as I prayed for her while I was writing, I asked the Lord to allow me to have that same faith when going through difficult times. What would I do, and would my faith actually be as strong in hard times as it is when things are going well?
So what about you? Have you purposed in your heart how you will react when tough times come? Have you decided ahead of time that you will praise God in the morning? Are you going to be like David and run to the fortress? Are you going to be like Daniel and purpose in your heart ahead of time to honor God, no matter what? Are you going to wake up praising God in the morning, like David? Can these words be yours?
So I will praise You God for any pain I endure.
I will praise You, Lord, for it's my faith You spur.
I will praise You God, for the strength that You give.
No matter the scar, Lord, for You I'll live.
As you memorize Psalm 59:16 this week, please join me in trying to internalize it. Make up your mind ahead of time.