I have been working my way through a few Psalms every day this week – roughly 10 a day. I find this is an encouraging start or end to my day at the moment. It is reassuring to know that people in biblical times cried out to God for help, or had people oppose them and say ‘Where is your God?’ when trouble strikes. It is similar today. I cry out to God so much! When disaster strikes, people point the finger and blame God or say well there can’t be a God or this wouldn’t happen. I think it’s amazing that God came in the flesh as Jesus Christ and people still did not believe that he was who he said he was. And we are cheeky enough to want proof today? If a miracle came down and hit people in between the eyes, I am pretty confident we would be too blind, arrogant, ignorant and/or stupid to accept it.
I find Psalm 42: 5 a real reflection on how I feel when I am challenged by others or have a time of doom and gloom. It says:
‘Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God’.
I love the last line, because despite feeling rubbish, I can still praise him and be filled with hope amidst hopeless circumstances. I know that there are going to be tough times ahead, especially for being a Christian. But if I put my hope in God he will be my fortress and my rock during the storm.
Another comforting verse that I came across was Psalm 34:18 for those that have hit rock bottom:
‘The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’
I understand that we all experience pain and suffering in this life time. But there is a God that wants to draw close to us in our times of need as well as in every aspect of our lives. It was once said that maybe that’s the point – to reach the point of giving up… because when we are at rock bottom, we start looking up and reach out for help. I want to include 2 clips – one is of a song which explains this quite nicely… the second is a 3 minute clip of God and suffering, which I found very to the point and extremely useful.
One more verse I shall leave with you is another from Psalms… Psalm 30: 5 and it is one of my favourites…
‘For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning’.
God’s anger is always an expression of his righteousness (NIV bible notes) and this links with Isaiah 54:7 where it says, “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.” Sometimes God permits things to happen to bring us back to him. And the fact that we can find favour with God that lasts a life time is a pretty amazing thing, if only we truly seek him and everything he is. The second part of Psalm 30:5 says that weeping lasts for a night but rejoicing comes in the morning, which is a verse I cling to. I know that God is a God of comfort and feeling hurt and downcast and rubbish is an emotion that even God himself felt as he was put to death on a cross. But rejoicing will come. God will not fail us. If we are having a hard day, it might be the perfect time to gain some perspective and surrender it all to him. He’s got our backs. He is for us. He loves us. Will you find it in your heart to love him? You and I need him more than we can possibly comprehend.
Take care and keep looking up 🙂