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As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a
loud voice: "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of
the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!"
world is filled with woe, woe, and more woe. Much of the pain and
suffering we experience results from sin—the sins we commit and the
sins of others. Other hardship seems to be deeply rooted complexities
and brokenness of an out-of-balance world spinning out of control. From
viruses to volcanoes, nature itself seems to be reeling from one trauma
to the next and we're along for the scary ride.
can we do? How can we deal with the sorrows and tragedies? Some of us
reject God because we can't make sense of the pain. Some even taunt
those who hope and believe in God. And even those who do
place their faith in God become downcast and find themselves crying out
to God, "Where are you?" We hurt, we feel despair, and we can't
understand why we are suffering.
In Revelation, the
Apostle John writes as a pastor encouraging Christians (and perhaps
even reminding himself) that though the times are often dark and
difficult, Christ will reign at the end of the day. In Psalm 42, the
psalmist does something very similar; he admits that he is disturbed
and depressed, even to the point of wondering if God sees or cares. The
psalmists faith in God, however, triumphs as he sings the words, "Put
your hope in God, your Savior, for suffering will give way to praise
and victory in the end."
Response and Action:There
is nothing wrong with voicing my fears and my sorrows to God.
Expressing my doubts and giving full voice to my questions are part of
an honest relationship with him. My expressions of praise and hope and
confidence in God are made even deeper and stronger when they stand up
tall over my suffering, and overshadow my doubts. I will express my
true feelings and concerns to God. I will cling to the hope I have in
Christ Jesus and shout out my faith and confidence in him.
God, as the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you.
My soul thirsts for you, Living God. When tears are my food, comfort
me. When men say to me all day long, "Where is your God," speak to my
soul, O Lord, and remind me that you are with me. When I become
downcast, strengthen my heart to hope in you. Give me the faith to
trust in you and praise you all my days. Protect me from
discouragement, and encourage me by your word, your people, your
promises, and all that is beautiful and true. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Psalm 42:9-11
9 I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?" 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?" 11 Why
are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your
hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."
Waiting: Finding Hope When God Seems Silent
by Ben Patterson