Life is just plain hard. It seems that at least once a week, I hear a heart-wrenching story of pain: a mom who lost her child to cancer, nother seemingly solid marriage shipwrecked by infidelity, yet one more scandal that makes you wonder if you can trust anyone. I’m not just talking about the news, which I rarely have the stomach to watch. I’m talking about the people I know and love and do life with. Sometimes you wonder how much more you can take before discouragement overrides hope.
David is one of the most beloved Bible characters because we know that he often felt like this. Think about it . . . David faced almost every trial imaginable throughout his lifetime. He lost children to illness and violence. He was rejected by a spouse, homeless, and the target of murderous threats. He was betrayed by a child and close friends, had a daughter sexually abused by her brother, and felt the shame of horrific personal choices. Whatever you are experiencing, David most likely lived through similar trials. In spite of this, David was known as a man of worship and praise. How did he rise above his depression and despair time and again? When he felt like giving up, how did he keep stepping in faith?
Today is one of those days when I just feel discouraged. As I was praying this morning, I sensed the Lord simply saying, “Keep your eyes on me.” I need to know how David did this, resisting the urge to give into doubt and discouragement.
Psalm 22 gives us a glimpse into how David practically weathered the many storms of his life. Within this psalm, we see a progression from discouragement to praise. Before you read any further, take a look as this beautiful psalm. What I notice most about Psalm 22 is that David “remembered” his way out of discouragement.
After pouring out his feelings of despair, David wrote:
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you,
and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
They trusted in you and were never disgraced. (verses 3–5)
Even though God seemed silent to David, he remembered the amazing ways God has acted on behalf of his people.
When we feel discouraged, we should remember the testimony of the men and women who have faced tremendous trials and testified to God’s faithfulness. We worship the same God as George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Louis Zamperini, and Joni Eareckson Tada. Like David, we need to remember all that God has done for his people throughout history.