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Today, as then, many people turn up their noses at our faith. “It’s a hang-up,” they say. “It’s self-deception. You imagine all kinds of ‘answers to prayer’ in what are really coincidences. You have feelings you think come from God, but really they’re auto-suggestion!”
Usually, it’s easy to answer this kind of criticism, or else just ignore it. But not when our world falls apart. That’s when all the cynical remarks come back, and suddenly become a real challenge to our faith. So it was with David.
- The force of suffering. Look at one or two verses. It’s real suffering – meaningless (v 1), crushing (v 6), terrifying (vv 12,13), draining (v 15), humiliating (v 18). Worst of all, days and nights go past, and God (if there is a God) does nothing (v 2).
- The power of faith. How to come through? Learn from David. Faith must feed on God’s Word (vv 3-5), or starve to death. Faith must draw from its own past experiences (vv 9,10). Above all, faith must fasten its eyes on the Lord, even in times of doubt (v 1), and keep them there, until the answer comes (vv 19-21)!
How much of this psalm was true of Jesus, in his suffering and death? Remember: he suffered FOR us; and he can suffer WITH us.
Father, thank you that when I hit bottom, Jesus Christ is there. Thank you that he suffered all this for us. I pray for all who are suffering and have no one else to pray for them. I pray in his name, Amen.