“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
Psalms 13:1-6 NKJV
God for us
There are times when darkness envelopes me, and I feel as if God is not near. My flesh falls back into its old, familiar ways, seeking solace in tried and untrue methods, that do not encourage, and only deepening the pain.
In my early days, I sought to blame the Lord for my troubles, even though I did not seek Him in my hour of need.
I have found myself like the writer of Psalm 13, crying out, desiring to know why the God was so far away. In the years of maturity, I have come to recognize that it is not God who moves, it we who slip away, seeking to have our own way, and blaming God when we fail.
In those times of distance, I feel like I am at the bottom of the world, dealing with the pressure of all the stress under my own strength. Everything that I face is magnified, with heightened weight. It is easy to be come depressed, feeling as if the struggle will never end.
I seek after the Lord, as a thirsty deer seeks after water. Living in one’s pain is akin to wandering in a dark and dusty land, devoid of life.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?””
Psalms 42:1-3 NKJV
Those that hate God mock and ask where He is in this time of trouble. There is great temptation to listen.
But I choose to remember.
As the struggle deepens, I finally cry out
to my Savior, seeking His intervention. The evil one seeks to persuade me that nothing can help me , as he desires my destruction.
All the memories of God’s faithfulness come flooding into my mind and my heart, pushing away the doubt and the darkness. I remember and I rejoice.
As it is in the passage, I have trusted in God’s mercy and He has never let me down.
Brothers and sisters, I know that many of you are struggling these days, as the darkness has given root to depression. In the trial, we forget that we have an adversary who desires to defeat us. He knows that he cannot go against Jesus, but he knows that we are vulnerable when we do not walk in the Spirit.
Let us enjoy the power of the Holy Spirit in these increasingly uncertain times. He provides us the needed help to stand against the temptations of the devil, and continue in the ministry that the Lord Jesus Christ has given us.
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”
I Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV
Let love be your greatest weapon against the evil one, as we go forth and tell the lost world of the story of the God/Man who came from on high to die for the sins of the world.
In our loving we can enjoy peace, as the qualities of godly living, run counter to the darkness of these times. As we love we respond with the heart of God and not with flesh, giving no room for the devil to drive us into a reaction in kind.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”
I Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV
Let us lean on the mercy of the Lord, and rest easy. Niters, my people!