Let’s Rise Above


Have you ever cried out to the Lord with feelings similar to the Psalmist?

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. (Ps. 69:1-3)

By the time we get down to verse 30 of that Psalm, after rehearsing and assessing of his circumstances, we find him rising above in praise and thanksgiving.

How Can We Rise Above Our Circumstances?

  1. Perspective about this life helps us adjust expectations.

Rise Above the Mire
After speaking about how others mistreated him, we come to the “but” —

“But I pray to you, LORD” (v. 13).

He doesn’t deny the reality of what’s happening. Nor does he blame God or express that he shouldn’t have to experience these things. Rather, He turns to God.

When we get the attitude that we should be the exception to troubles in this world, that we shouldn’t have to suffer, that we’re entitled to a good life, then we’re bound to grumbling and complaining. However, when we acknowledge the truth as Jesus said, “in this world you will have trouble” (Jn. 16:33) and find the “but”, then we can have peace and rise above. — Immediately following His reality check about the difficulties of life, Jesus says “BUT take heart! I have overcome the world.”

  1. Promises based on the character of God help us regain hope.

If we read through the entire Psalm 69 we notice hope beginning to take hold as the Psalmist speaks of God’s “sure salvation” or deliverance (v. 13, 29). He remembered how the Lord “hears the needy” (v. 33). He trusts God to answer him, to keep His promises, out of the goodness of His love and great mercy (v. 16).

We too, in Christ, hold on to many promises that grow out of the character of God and let us know we can be overcomers (1 Jn. 5:4-5). In this we can find hope in the midst of great difficulties when we believe that the One in us is greater than any other (1 Jn. 4:4).

To Read:

  1. Purpose founded in who we are in Him helps us look at the bigger picture.

In Psalm 69 we see the Psalmist go from what was happening to him personally to how God is there for all the poor and needy (v. 32-33), and then a call for the “heaven and earth” to praise God, even “the seas and all that move in them” (v. 34). He was able to move beyond his own troubles and needs because he knew what he experienced wasn’t the end of the story. As a Jew, the Psalmist knew God had a plan for His people, a future restoration (v. 35-36), which in itself was cause to rise above the muck and mire of this life.

As Christians, we know God has a future plan for us, a home in glory with Him where there will be no more suffering, no more tears. And so, we learn to set our “minds on things above, not on earthly things”, to view life from our position in Him (Col. 3:1-2).

With a realistic perspective on life, we cling to God’s promises and find purpose based on who we are in Him and what He is yet to do. The troubles of life begin to pale in comparison and we find ourselves able to rise above.


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