“Once again hear me; hide me in Your favor; bring victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness” (Psalm 4:1, The Voice).
I love reading Psalms with the FaithWorks of Abilene class every day of every semester. Although we only get to 92 and I read those 92 three times a year, it is a blessing to have different verses, different phrases, stand out every time I read them.
Today is the fourth day of the Spring class, so we read Psalm 4. In The Voice Bible, verse 1 adds a call to God to bring victory out of defeat and hope out of hopelessness.
How great to see God doing those very things again and again.
In order to see victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness, we need to change our definitions.
Defeat is pretty easily defined by our society: if you don’t look good enough, make enough money, have the right skin color, or dress the right way you have lost. If you have struggled with addictions you have lost. If you have been caught in a sin you have lost.
And there are other ways to feel defeat: the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a broken relationship.
We all define defeat as those times when our lives are not following the prescribed pattern we desire.
But that is not how God defines defeat. It is in those dark, painful, lost moments that God draws victory. Because defeat is not losing what the culture of our time holds sacred; defeat is losing all connection with God.
And He fights for us relentlessly.
God pulls His victory out of our defeat because He is not willing to give up as easily as we are. God pulls His victory out of our defeat because He is not limited by our human definitions of success. God pulls His victory out of our defeat because He is not willing to give up on us.
Which is also why He brings hope out of hopelessness: We feel hopeless when we live out of our definitions. We feel hopeless when we live out of our limitations.
God doesn’t do that. He is stronger than that. He is bigger than that. He brings hope when we have nothing left because He doesn’t know better. We tell ourselves all hope is lost. We tell ourselves our situation is unbearable and overwhelming. God says, “You think you’re hopeless? Well, let me show you what I can do.”
Which is good, because I can’t do this thing called life on my own. Please hear me, God: bring me Your victory out of my defeat and Your hope out of my hopelessness.