Read Psalm 13
Capture The Sparkle
“Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.”
Go Deep: Do you ever wonder why there are some whose eyes just always seem to sparkle? Is it because they have such a naturally sunny disposition? Is it because things are continually going their way? Is it because they are just so much better at life that they outshine the average person? What is it about these people?
Well, it could be any or all of the above factors contribute to their winsome approach to the world. But I would venture to guess that these folks have also developed the ability to practice hopefulness in the midst of all the negative stuff that might send a less hopeful person into the tank.
Aaron Beck, a leading marriage researcher, found the number one belief that kills marriages is that a spouse will never change. Once that belief set in, there was a loss of motivation, surrendering of perseverance, and giving up. What Beck discovered about marriage is true of life as well: That beneath our failure to endure and thrive there is always the loss of hope.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 13:12 that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” But when hope is practiced, whether in marriage specifically or life in general, there is tremendous motivation not only for growth and change, but for that winsome radiance to dominate our personality in a way that both elevates our moods and is consistently visible to those we are around.
That’s why we’ve got to make the choice daily to put our hope in the promises of God. That’s what David did. He practiced hope. In the first two verses of this six-verse psalm, David was focusing on the overwhelmingly bad things in his life that were dragging him down. But in the last two verses, his focused has shifted to the overwhelming mercy and grace of God—and it changed everything.
What did David do to pull that off that turn around? Well, to begin with, he went to God—he prayed. He poured out his complaint (Psalm 13:1-2) and then made a bold request (Psalm 13:3). Next, he went back into the memory banks of his past experience with God and recalled that God had never failed him—not even once (Psalm 13:5). Therefore, since God had been faithful in David’s past, it only made sense to trust him in the present. And finally, David praised (Psalm 13:6). David began to sing of the mercies and goodness of God. Praise is simply declaring that God’s track record of faithfulness in the past is the pre-evidence of his immutable character tomorrow.
David practiced hope—and before he knew it, the sparkle had returned to his eyes.
Hebrews 6:19 says of the practice of hope: “We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, firm and secure.”
And when we practice it—praying, reflecting, singing—we too, can expect the sparkle to return to our eyes. As Romans 5:5 says, this “hope does not disappoint us.”
Just Saying… William Gurnall wrote, “Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath.” When you practice hope, you will not only survive life’s difficulties, you will thrive because of them!