It’s easy to think that our troubles are bigger than God because our troubles are so close. Things take a turn for the worse, the world as we know it ceases to function in the way we think it ought to and we immediately think that God is not all He says He is, or that He is indifferent to our circumstances. Like the disciples in the height of the storm, we ask: “Master, carest Thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38)
David wrote Psalm 11 when he was on the run from Saul. Consumed with jealousy that turned him to madness, Saul spent all his energies trying to hunt down the man that God had anointed king in his stead.
Those who aligned themselves with David began to doubt and to question first their circumstances…
For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. (Psalms 11:2)
Then their God…
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalms 11:3)
Looking at our circumstances first will always cause us to question our faith. Looking to God first will always strengthen our faith.
David’s companions were judging God by their circumstances. It looked like the foundations were being destroyed because all the institutions that represented stability and God’s blessing seemed to be crumbling around them. The nation of Israel under the leadership of Saul had turned against God’s anointed. Something was terribly wrong.
In faith, David was able to see past their present circumstances. He trusted in the character of God, character that is not subject to calamity, or politics, or changes in the social order. So, while his friends panicked, he trusted in God’s promises, looked to God’s unchangeable character and said:
The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. (Psalms 11:4)
He wasn’t putting on rose-colored glasses or living in denial. He was on the run for his life and he knew it. But he also knew His God and because He knew his God, he refused to let his circumstances make him fly into a panic. God had seen him through crises before and He would see him through this one as well.
The nation and the world is facing a panic in the form of COVID-19. It is a real threat that needs to be taken seriously, but let’s let our faith in a caring and unchanging God keep us from rash decisions we’ll regret later. Let’s look beyond our troubles to the greatness, goodness, and stability of God.