This morning I read Psalm 21:1 where David shouts, “The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give!”
I think about rejoicing in God’s strength and recalling the battles of my own life. I consider the victories that God has given over my lifetime, and I’m full of new joy and worship. As I write down the victories, I feel like a wandering Israelite finally brought to the promised land. God was faithful! God was leading! God was there!
Back when I was in college, many people told me I was making life too hard because I didn’t know how to rest in God’s strength and victory. Everything felt like a battle. Instead of joyfully shouting to the Lord about His strength and victory, I shouted at the Lord from pain, anger, and despair. It was all struggle and confusion and pain. Externally, I couldn’t manage my life or my relationships. Internally, I couldn’t manage my anxiety and depression.
So I shouted to God over and over again. I think of Psalm 34:17: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”
All my troubles? All my troubles?
I kept crying out. I kept believing that God would hear and deliver. In Psalm 55:17, we know that the writer cried out in distress morning, noon, and night and God heard him. (There’s a lot of crying out in the Bible. This I’ve noticed.) And what about this little gem in Psalm 22:5: “They cried out and were saved; they trusted in you and were not disappointed”? What a promise!
Back then, I met people in scripture who cried out and found victory over all their troubles. They lived in victory, not disappointment. I began to believe that I could, too.
It took time and a continual focus on truth and giving permission for the Holy Spirit to transform my mind and life, but trouble turned to triumph. Disappointment turned to displays of God’s power over and over again.
Now, I shout a victory song, not because of my strength, but because of God’s.