Reflection on Psalm 33:1-22.
Hope in God Alone
I love the last line of this Psalm, “Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you (Psalm 33:22).” As the Psalmist scans creation, he sees evidence of God’s love. The world breathes with God’s handiwork. When the Psalmist looks around in awe of all that God is and all that God does, he knows, hope in anything other than God is false hope.
I want to echo with the Psalmist, “my hope is in you alone Lord,” but I keep putting my hope in what I can see and touch. I don’t have a warhorse or army, but I do have a checking and savings account, along with credit cards. As I reflect on this Psalm, I ask, “Where have I put my hope?”
I want to put my hope in God alone, but it isn’t easy. Culture continues to offer so many options promising to give me my heart’s desire! Far too many times, I’ve placed my hope in places other than God. I would like to think that I place my hope in God too, but placing my hope in God too isn’t placing my hope in God alone. Maybe I have a God+ kind of hope. Yes, I hope with God, but God isn’t always enough.
I hate to admit it, but I believe the promises of culture, pushing God out of the center of my life. The Psalmist doesn’t just look at promises, he also looks at performance. He looks at God’s work and sees love. He looks at warhorses and armies, and knows they don’t bring victory. In the end, God brings victory.
Culture does make a lot of promises. I am told if I am able to afford the “good life” then I will be happy, or if I can just find the right house, or the right spouse, or the right this, or that, or the other thing, then I will find happiness, be content, and everything will be wonderful.
All I need to do is take a look at those who have bought into those promises and where they end up; broken, wounded, and disappointed. All I need is look at the rich and famous and see how many of them have been given false hope and live with broken dreams. They may be rich, famous, or powerful, but it seems like they can’t find what they are really looking for.
Do I really need to discover this disappointment myself?
Hope in God, Alone
The Psalmist puts his hope in God alone, knowing that God’s unfailing love surrounds him. Warhorses and armies might promise victory, but the Psalmist knew the results weren’t so sure. God’s love surrounds you and me too. We can put our hope in many things that promise much, only to be disappointed again and again while having them offer more promises if we only just keep on believing.
When we align our lives with God’s purposes, we discover that we can hope in God alone because he keeps his promises. When we are open and receptive to God’s will and way, we discover his abundant life unfolding in our lives every day. As we journey with him, may we cry out with the Psalmist, “Let your unfailing love surround us, for our hope is in you alone.”
NOTE: Aligning our lives with God’s purpose, at least from my experience, is not easy. It seems simple, but easy and simple are two different things. Aligning our will with God’s will can be a lifetime project. We continue to want to go our own way and culture is right there cheering us on. Only when we surrender to God’s will and live out the prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…” will we find peace, fulfillment, and purpose, such that the world can never provide.Then is when we discover, not only God’s love surrounding us, but how we can hope in God alone.