Spiritual giants are born out of great trials.
A test or trial allows God to refine our faith and to cause us to check the validity of our faith. What do we do when we are tested? Trials and testing reveal what is on the inside of us. None of us would volunteer to go through a trial, but what are the movies and books we most often watch or read? One that takes the main character through a test or some sort of trial. We watch the character grow from the experience. We cry with them. We cheer for them. We don’t want them to give up! We tell them to keep going. We hold our breath. We try to coach them from our seats. We stay engaged to see how the character will make it through. In the end, when the character has made it through, we feel the joy inside! I know I have clapped and cheered at the end of some of those movies. And almost every movie uses this plot-line.
But when it is you who is going through a trial or testing, it is hard to keep your soul encouraged. As we read through Scriptures, many of the main characters faced trials and testing. We know the end of their stories so sometimes we can forget that there were many painful things these men and women experienced. They had real feelings and real heartaches. They didn’t know how it would all turn out for them. If you want to read about some of those who have experienced trials, you can find them in Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith. Here are listed men and women who persevered through trials and testing. They came through God’s refining furnace with more determination and strength.
Psalm 63 gives us a model to follow in the midst of trials so we can overcome the resistance in our lives and come through with strength and more determination. King David’s son, Absalom, conspired to revolt against David and overthrow his father’s leadership over Israel (2 Samuel 15). 2 Samuel 15:12 tells us, “the conspiracy gained strength and Absalom’s following kept on increasing”. We can read David’s response to this real threat in 2 Samuel 16:14, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.” This is the context of Psalm 63. David has fled for his life from his own son. Imagine that? How his heart grieved. In the place of grief and heart-ache, Psalm 63 is David’s cry.
If you experiencing a testing or trial at this time, use this model to pray through it and seek God’s face as David did.
1. SEEK: “O, God, you are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water,” verse 1. David knew God’s character and that He was the only help in this trial. God was His source.
Tell God what is going on; what trial, temptation or night season you are experiencing. Seek God in the midst of the trial. If you are feeling dry or parched, cry out for God’s presence!
2. REMEMBER: “I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory,” verse 2. David recounts what God has done and the times he’s experienced God’s power and glory.
Recount the encounters you have had with God.
How have you experienced His power in your life? His glory? His faithfulness? His goodness? Remember the testimonies. Recount the many blessings in your life.
3.WORSHIP. “Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your Name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You,” verses 3-5. David worshiped in the midst of his trouble.
Make the choice to give the Lord Your worship. During the night seasons, prayer and worship are a gift we give to God because it is such a sacrifice. Continue to declare His goodness.
4.FOCUS. “On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night. Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings,” verses 6-7. David centered his heart on God at night, so trouble would not overtake him.
What thoughts cause your body and mind not to sleep during this trial? Focus your heart on God. Invite the Holy Spirit to bring peace in the midst of pain, confusion, uncertainty, etc. There are websites and apps that can help keep your focus on Jesus during the night. I use the “Abide” app when my mind will not quiet or be at peace. Or I put on worship to settle my mind and turn my thoughts to Jesus through the watches of the night.
5. CLING. “I cling to You; Your right hand upholds me,” verse 8. David clung to God so the trouble could not separate him from God.
Close your eyes. Picture yourself clinging to the Lord, so that the trial you are experiencing does not separate you from God. Can you draw it?
6. PERSPECTIVE. “Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in Him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced,” verses 9-11. David concludes his psalm prophesying the destruction of his enemies. He foretells with full assurance the final overthrow of his enemies. He knew God was bigger than all his enemies and that God would have the victory!
What does God say about your circumstance, trial or dark valley? Get God’s perspective. Don’t let this trial or testing distract you from God’s goodness. Believe what God says. Speak what God says. You will have the victory! What God says will be done! He is faithful.
You are a spiritual giant. Keep persevering through the trial. Have vision for the breakthrough. If you can't "see" it now in the natural, "see" it by the spirit. You have what it takes. You are stronger than you think and God is better than you know. This wilderness will not last forever. Don't give up. You are not alone. God is with you and will not leave you. Even when you don't feel His presence, He is there. Let the cry of David in Psalm 63 be your cry.