Psalm 84 is a great Psalm, two of our choruses have come out of this Psalm. As I was reading it yesterday I was struck with verses 5-7. I have been working on the discipline of perseverance in my life. I have one great day, then I sin horribly the next day, when I fully know that it is wrong. I wonder how do "those people" do it, you those I mean, the perfect Christians, the ones who never miss a day in their devotions, who are allway exhibiting all of the fruit of the Spirit all of the time. They never give in to temptation, they never get selfish, they never get depressed. As we all know, "those people" don't really exist. There are definetly people who are walking much closer to the Lord than we are, but they certainly are not perfect, but for the most part they are persevering. These verses in this Psalm gave me an insight into how they continue to persevere. "Blessed are those whose strenth is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion."
Firstly, their strength is found in the Lord, not in themselves, not in their family, not in their circumstances. For their strength to be in the Lord, that means their focus is on Him, they are trusting Him, relying on Him, talking to Him. They have the right perspective on this life, that is an eternal perspective, not jsut temporal. They set their hearts on the pilgrimage. They are focused and dedicated, they don't let things distract them. The Valley of Baca is not an actual Valley but rather it means a valley of tears, these are the trials we all go through in life. But, do you see how they handle these trials? They don't give in to their tears and wallow in despair, but again, they have the right perspective. They don't focus on the horribleness of the now, they see the beauty in the trials. They see what God is doing and what He will do through them. They make their trials a place of refreshment. I really liked the phrase, "they go from strength to strength". This is a day by day process. They don't get strong at one point in time and remain that way. They keep getting stronger, they don't give up, it's a moment by moment thing. How long? Untill they appear before God! This is the end of their pilgrimage, this is what they have been focused on and now they will enjoy thier eternal reward.
Oh, how I long to be like them! What is stopping me? Just myself, I have no excuse. He will be my strength.