Please read Psalm 9.
So far in this Psalm, David has been recounting all of God’s wonderful deeds. He looked back to what God has done in the past (verses 3-6), then he looked forward to what will do in the future (verses 7-12). In verses 13-14, he then reminds us of one of the important reasons for us to praise God. Please reread verses 13-14 now.
God is worthy of all praise because He is God. That alone should be enough. But, if we are honest, we are selfish creatures. The longer that we praise God for who He is, the more we are reminded of who He is for us. And we need this reminder, because, if God is for us than nothing can stand against us.
For a moment, David takes his eyes off of God and looks back at his troubles. He remembers his affliction, which was so severe that he describes it as the gates of death. Like Peter walking on the water, he takes his eyes off of the Lord and begins to sink.
When we take our focus off of God and put it back on our own problems, the problems seem too big. The enemies seem too strong; the waves seem too tall; the work that God is doing through us seems too impossible to continue.
When Peter began to sink in the water, he cried out “Lord, save me!” The moment that he took his focus off of the waves and looked back at the Lord, what did Jesus do? Did He scold Peter for his lack of faith? Did He pause so that Peter would learn his lesson as he sank deeper in the water? Did he laugh and start splashing his faithless disciple?
NO! The moment Peter looked back at Christ and asked for deliverance, Jesus pulled him up from the water and put him back in the boat.
Jesus doesn’t delay when giving salvation. David was giving thanks, rejoicing, and even singing God’s praises. He celebrated the fact that God does not forget the cry of the afflicted. But then, perhaps using the word ‘afflicted’ reminded him of his own afflictions. He mind then filled with thoughts of the evil men who were pursuing him.
He began to sink.
He began to focus on his own problems, his own concerns, his own trials. He took his eyes off of the Lord, and became overwhelmed by the waves that the world was sending crashing in on him.
So, what did he do? He turned his eyes back to Christ. He calls out to God, “be gracious to me, O Lord!” Why? “that I may recount all your praises” and “rejoice in your salvation.”
God has done marvelous things. We must never stop praising Him for all that He has done and all that He will do. When we take our eyes off of the great things that God has done, we can get discouraged and, like Peter and David, we can begin to sink in our worldly troubles.
If your waves seem too big, your enemies seem too strong, and your world seems too dark and evil to overcome, then turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.
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