Discover more from WHILE I PONDER with Karlene
How Losing Heart Can Lead to Hope
Reading through the Bible this year.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27.13-14
Can you think of a time when you lost heart, or came close to it? I’m not referring to a romantic relationship gone wrong unless, for you, such an experience qualifies.
You may have lost heart over a job opportunity that fell through. It may have been the loss of a child, parent, or marriage that caused you to lose heart. These experiences surely have a way of trying to steal our hope.
A family member once shared with me how, following the death of her husband of decades, she felt like she had lost her identity. One day, while taking her daily walk through the neighborhood park, she began to cry out to God, “Who am I now? I don’t know who I am anymore.” In mourning the loss of her husband, she discovered she’d about lost herself.
These days, I do not often quote from the New King James Version (NKJV), but I love its use of the first few words in Psalm 27.13—I would have lost heart…
The NKJV Bible is one of the few to include this phrase. These words were not in the original Scriptures but were added in early English translations to clarify the emotions of the psalmist. These words help us to grasp the impact of the circumstances the writer experienced.
Speaking of the psalmist-writer, imagine the one I sometimes think of as David the Great penning those words, I would have lost heart. At this point, he was the King of Israel. What did he have to lose heart over?
Handwritten notes I recorded in the margin of my Bible, while reading 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles, tell a story. As I read this portion of Scripture, I wanted to be able to remember the many hats David wore, and the experiences he endured. Here is what I wrote in the margin…
David, the shepherd
David, the anointed king (at only about sixteen years of age)
David, the musician
David, the servant
David, the brave
David, the giant-killer
David, the famous one
David, the warrior
David, the hunted
David, the loyal friend
David, the leader
David, the pray-er
David, the protector
David, the destroyer
David, the half-king of Judah
David, the king of all Israel
David, the conqueror
David, the worshiper
God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart… Acts 13.22
Yes, even David the Great, whom God referred to as a man after my own heart, almost lost heart!
His father-in-law, King Saul, became so filled with jealousy over David’s popularity and fame among the people that he wanted him dead. David was forced into hiding and lived on the run from Saul’s advances for around 15 years. Fifteen years of waiting to take his place as the rightful king.
Later in life, Absalom, David’s own son, conspired to have him removed from the throne. The people of Israel fell for Absalom’s charming personality, as he deceptively organized a rebellion against his father, the king.
A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!” 2 Samuel 15.13
Once again, David was running for his life. We might say David had good reason to lose heart, and his mind.
Now, let us be sure to acknowledge King David was not without sin. Take, for instance, these additional notes from my Bible margin.
David, the polygamist
David, the adulterer
David, the murderer
David, the anointed king of Israel and devoted follower of Yahweh, was human. Out of his own free will, and like many of us, he made some disastrous decisions in life.
Those decisions nearly cost him everything, yet we see in Scripture that David maintained his devotion to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies (1 Samuel 17.45). More importantly, David understood the need for repentance, and he did repent.
David learned that almost losing heart, for him, led back to hope—the Hope he’d held onto for most of his life.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? Psalm 27.1
Notice how David begins Psalm 27. The Lord is my light and my salvation… This was David’s hope! In good times and bad. Tending sheep or killing giants. Serving others or served, as king. Conquering nations or running for his life. Living obedient to God, or in need of forgiveness.
Had David not held on to his belief in the Hope of heaven, his circumstances would have surely led him to a total loss of heart, mind, peace, security, and all the goodness of the Lord in this life. But God—the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—remained on David’s side, always drawing the shepherd-boy back into the fold.
Friend, we can take encouragement from Psalm 27 for our lives, today. If we commit our lives to God, remain submissive and repentant, and follow His commands—we can rest assured He will remain on our side, as well. And, if necessary, He will draw us back to Him.
Believe. Be brave. Wait on the Lord. And keep hoping.
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8.24-25