Psalms 71:13-14 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
All of us have probably taken the color blind test. I’m talking about the one that has a big round circle made up of a bunch of little, different colored dots that you look at and try to determine what number they form in that circle. I remember taking this test for the first time when I was in junior high school. They projected these different circles up on the screen in the front of the class, one at a time, and told us to write down the numbers we saw on a sheet of paper.
The first slide went up and I easily noticed that it was a nine. That's only because the many dots were made up of just two colors, black and red. It was obvious that it was a nine. So far, so good. But things went south for me after that. I remember as they would put up each new slide, I didn't see any number, just a bunch of multicolored dots. As I struggled, not seeing any number, I would hear students in the background saying, “Oh, I see it.” Not me. I saw nothing, not even a letter.
The problem is that I am color blind. That doesn’t mean I see everything in black and white like an old Andy Griffith show rerun. But I seriously struggle telling the differences between colors. It is evident sometimes, especially when I pick out my own tie.
In the color blind test, no matter how hard I looked, I just couldn’t see that number. But there is something worse than not being able to see what you’re looking at—which is, not focusing on what you could see. I didn't fail the color blind test out of a lack of desire: it was out of a physical inability to see it. I wanted to see the number like the rest of my classmates, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't see it. The only thing worse would have been if I had the ability to see those numbers but chose not to.
In many ways, this is the problem with most people. We choose not to focus on the things that we should, so we don't see the things that we could. We live in some very irrational and unsettling times. Things are crazier now than they have ever been. However, I don't need to choose to place my focus on the nonsense that's happening all around me.
The Psalmist chose not to focus on the trouble, nor the troublemakers around him. He chose to focus on hope. Biblical hope is the rock-solid assurance I have in knowing that what God says will happen, will occur. And I can be 100% positive. If I choose to focus on what's going on around me, then I will lose my joy, and I will not praise the Lord as I should.
On the other hand, if I will focus on the Lord and the rock-solid truths that can guide me in life, I will praise God. And the more that I trust Him, the more I will praise Him. Could it be the reason we struggle to praise God and be thankful is because our focus is not on Him, but on the troubles and tribulations of this life?
We will never be able to choose what things we will have to deal with in this life. We cannot control what is going on in this world or around us, although we can always choose where we place our focus. Where we choose to place our focus will determine how thankful we are to the Lord. It is hard to be thankful to the Lord and to praise Him when our focus is not on Him. Let's make sure our focus stays on the Lord. If we do so, we will praise Him more and more.
If we are not building our life on the Word of God, we will experience major defeat and disaster.
If an area of our life is incompatible with Scriptural living, it isn't to be moved to another area, but removed completely.