But as for me…

BUT AS FOR ME, I will watch expectantly for the Lord;   I will wait for the God of my salvation.  My God will hear me.  Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy.  Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD IS A LIGHT FOR ME.  Micah 7:7

How many times do we find ourselves in the middle of circumstances that we just can’t seem to shake? Maybe it’s external – a marriage that needs healing, wayward kids that need a homecoming, a sick friend that needs healing, finances that are crushing or an unexpected life turn that needs direction.  Maybe it’s bigger than that – a violent community that needs peace, a society that is changing, a church that is dying or a nation that is breaking. Perhaps, it is internal – a heart that is hurting, depression that needs healing, pain that needs forgiving, or an unknown place that needs knowing.  There is not one of us who cannot drown in the circumstances that surround us on a day to day basis.  Some are huge and crushing, some are small and draining and some are within.  Sometimes, we live in the mindset of, “Life will be better when…”, “Life would have been better if…” or “Life was better when…”  Those things could and may be all true, but here is the thing, WE get to decide what we’re doing with the day we’re in.  It is OUR decision where we put our hope and no one can decide that for us.  We can’t decide that for anyone else either.  Where we put our hope is directly related to the direction our life will take.

What if Joseph sat in prison and sulked ?  He may have died there.  What if Daniel just succumbed to society?  There would have been no grand display of the power of God in that lion’s den.  What if David’s vision matched the vision of those around him?  Goliath would have continued taunting. The ‘what ifs’ run far and wide throughout history.  There are countless amazing stories throughout history and today that have happened because people have taken hold of, ‘But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord.   In fact, every testimony would have to have an element of this.  This little phrase says so much more than the actual words.  It says, “Circumstances may be pretty rough, but I have faith in You, God.”  “My heart is a tangled mess, but God, I know you know every detail of my life and You can bring healing to even the most confusing places.”  “God, I am so lonely right now, but I know that You can fill that lonely place as well as provide a community for me.” “God, my marriage is falling apart, but I know that You can give me grace to love my spouse anyway.”  “God, my life has been devastated, but You can make beauty from ashes.”  “God, life is pretty easy right now, but I know that You hold my life no matter what life holds.”  “God, I am stressed to the max about the way the nation is heading, but I know that You hold all things in Your hands and You are in control.”  There are as many prayers as there are people.  I’m sure that even if you don’t see yours here, you have your own.  You may not believe enough to pray it, but every heart has something it would love and need to see God do.

I love the way that Micah 7:7 starts out.  “But as for me…”  If you read the rest of chapter 7 leading up to this verse, Micah is talking about how corrupt the people around him have become and how  families are fighting with each other.   He goes into a depressing monologue about the dire and hopeless circumstances he is in the middle of and then in Micah 7:7, he changes his perspective.  “All of these things around me?  Yeah, they’re troubling, but as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord.  People around me have forgotten about God, but as for me…. ” This little phrase is what enabled him to gain perspective and rise above the things going on around him.  In 7:7, He made a decision and a declaration.  “But as for me….  THIS is what I am doing.  Despite what is happening around me, MY hope is going to be in God.  He’s going to hear me and He will come.  That’s what He does.  It’s Who He is.  I don’t really know how or when, but I WILL see Him move in my life.  My situation may or may not change, but HE will be what I need when walking through it.  HE will be my light and even though darkness surround me, He will help me to see clearly and from His perspective.”  This is for all of us.

He promises in Isaiah 49:23 that those who hope in HIM will not be disappointed.  Those who hope in great relationships? very likely.  Those who hope in perfect health?  likely.  Those who hope in a happy home? maybe.  Those who hope in a stable nation? definitely.  Those who hope in a perfect church?  probably.  Those who hope in financial stability? likely.  Those who hope in church leaders? most probably.  Those who hope in anything other than Him? definitely.  Those who hope in Him? NEVER.  Sometimes we get disappointed and think it’s Him, but we find out later our sight was a little skewed.

People are not Him, church is not Him, other believers aren’t Him and nothing else can take His place.  When we place our hope in Him, nothing can take that away.  That’s why we hear of the miraculous stories of believers in prison singing while they’re being beaten.  Hope in Him gives us the endurance we need to walk closely with Him through life’s ups and downs no matter what they may be.  Can I say that if your hope is in anything other than Him, you will be severely disappointed?  If you have felt that you have put your hope in Him and have left disappointed, can I say perhaps your hope wasn’t really in Him?  I have thought before that I have been left disappointed by Him only to discover that I had equated certain people with Him.  I needed Him to separate that for me and He can do the same for you.  Sometimes it’s not all that easy to see, but the great thing is that He has no problem doing that.  He knows exactly what to do – always.  Nothing confuses Him, takes Him by surprise, or throws Him.  He knows the beginning and end of all things both in the world and in your life.   He can handle our lives as well as our world.

In Micah 7:18, it says that He delights in unchanging love.  This means that this God we can put all of our hope in is a God who DELIGHTS in unchanging love.  Unchanging love means an attitude of love that involves mercy.  How amazing is that?!  This God Who loves us unconditionally and is merciful to us is wholly capable of handling our lives!  No matter what turns our lives take, we can always say, “But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation.”  No one can decide this for us and no one can take it away from us.

God, thank You that You hold my life in your hands.  Thank You that You say that those who hope in You will not be disappointed.  Thank You that even though I may have felt disappointed in You before, You can help me to see things as they really are.  Please help me to see You clearly.  I want to see Your heart for me and Your intentions towards me as they really are.  Help me to trust You enough to put all of my hope in You.  Lord, I come to You with my circumstances, failures and everything that is beyond my understanding and put it at Your feet.  I am here because, as for me, I will watch expectantly for You.  I will wait for You and I know that You will hear Me.  Whether I see it right now or not, I know that You are a good Father and You say that those who hope in You will not be disappointed.  I give  …..  to You.  I am taking my hope off of that and placing My hope in You.  Thank You that You ALWAYS hear me when I pray to You.

 

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