I often quote Psalm 27 to encourage people who are going through a difficult time. The psalmist was living in very unpleasant circumstances, yet he expected to “see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (v.13). But I now have many friends who are ill or bedridden with no prospect of getting better. How can they find comfort in these words?

We could emphasize the truth that our ultimate hope resides not in this present life but in the world now unseen, our future home in heaven (2 Cor. 4:18; 5:1-8). Even though that is true, it seems that the psalmist was speaking of an expectation in this present world, “in the land of the living,” rather than the next world.

So let’s look more closely at the psalmist’s hope. His expectation was not necessarily deliverance from bad circumstances but the hope of seeing “the goodness of the Lord.” That’s something we can see even in times of trouble.

When my friend Maurice was in the hospital after a stroke from which he may never totally recover, he said to me, “While flat on my back, I have been thinking about God. I sense His goodness and greatness as never before.”

No matter what your situation, you can find evidence of God’s goodness—so keep looking for it with hope.