In Psalm 20:7 David makes a powerful statement: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Back in David’s day if you had chariots and horses, you were a force to be reckoned with. You had power and stability on the battlefield. Power and stability brought comfort and peace. What David is saying here is that his power and stability comes by trusting in the name of the Lord. Meaning, he’s not putting his hope in things that he can physically control. He’s trusting, or in other words, putting his hope in God. He’s also emphasizing it in a boastful way. “BUT” we trust in the name of the Lord, drawing a clear line of what he is hanging his hat on. Not in his own strength or even better, what other people think strength is. His hope is in the Name of the Lord.
Eternal or temporal?
As I read this passage I was reminded of how many times I “think” I’m putting my trust in the Lord but it’s something completely different. If I’m honest, I like to say “my hope is in God.” But in reality it’s hanging on some irons I have in the fire. Friends, that is misplaced hope. I’m hanging my hope on something other than the Lord, who promised that his steadfast love toward me endures forever. The object of my hope isn’t eternal but temporal.
Here’s the problem with putting our hope in physical things… it has a shelf life. At some point, the horses will grow old and die and the chariots will rot and become obsolete. All your plans may not come to pass. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. I think 2020 has been a reminder that things can get flipped upside down at a moment’s notice. COVID-19 claimed over two million people worldwide. Along with these tragic deaths, folks lost their jobs, homes and much more. I don’t think anybody went into last year thinking that all this would happen. I think all of us had different plans for this year. We had plans, expectations, hopes and dreams that were shattered in a moment. If you were like me… I had my hope in other places but God starting in 2020, and those idols collapsed hard.
What is the object of your hope?
So Christian. I have a question for you. What is the object of your hope? Is it God or is it something else?
Trust me. It’s tempting to put your hope in other things but the Lord, but I implore you… don’t take the bait. Don’t compromise your Christian witness for a false sense of power and stability. We see this in our own country. Christians from both sides of the political aisle have misplaced hope. If you thought the previous administration was going to be a beacon of Christian hope for the watching world to see, you are in for the same disappointment with the new one. Our hope must be in the Lord. Not in failed political parties, but in The Lord Jesus Christ. Christian, please do not trust in temporal things. Trust in the Lord. There’s a promise that those who look to Him are radiant and will never be put to shame (Psalm 34). What a promise! Looking to Him, deferring to Him brings us to a place of joy and wholeness. I don’t know about you but I could use some of that Joy right about now. And here’s the good news… that joy is awaiting us right now in Christ.
Hope in Christ
As a Worship Leader, I would be remiss to not leave you with a hymn to help us reset ourselves from misplaced hope. Hear these words and put your hope in Christ.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”
Grace and peace.
Adam Pizarro is the Worship Leader at Riverside Church in North Lauderdale, Florida. If you’re a worship leader interested in getting involved with Village Hymns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at villagehymns.com/get-involved.
For more on Village Hymns, visit goodnewsfl.org/uniting-the-church-in-worship/