Psalms 35:17 - How long, O Lord, will You look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions!
Recently, a friend related to me an incident where a man lost his entire family in a fire.
She told me how inconsolable the man had been, how he had become hysterical, even to the point he had to be sedated. Her comment was, "Everyone who watched the whole thing kept asking how God could allow such a thing to happen."
Indeed, she spoke for many. When we see bad things happen around us, we wonder how God could just look on and not do anything. When there is a great loss of life that often comes as a result of a natural disaster, we demand to know where God was—why He didn't intervene?
The psalmist wants to know the same thing from the Lord. Fearing for his personal safety, it seems as if his words are accusing God of complacency, while the enemy plots his destruction.
Similarly, in our distress, we sometimes accuse God of being complacent—not caring or aloof—when we encounter unpleasant situations. Reading this devotion, you may be asking the same question.
Perhaps your entire world is coming apart at the seams, and you are demanding to know how God could allow this to happen. You are, after all, His child; you were baptized in the Name of the Triune God, and you partake of the blessed meal, Holy Communion. So why does God allow such bad things to happen to you?
I don't know what has happened, is happening, or why. I don't know the amount of pain and hurt you are experiencing, but I do know this: during times when I have faced rough situations, I have always found God's comfort in the book of Psalms.
And I would like to draw your attention to Psalm 42. Here the author laments the bad that has happened to him. He says people are asking him where is his God. Their criticism and comments indicate they believe if God loved him, then all these bad things would not be happening.
In spite of all this, the psalmist refused to focus on the bad that has happened or even why it happened. Psalm 42:11 says, "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God."
Of course, we can't turn a blind eye to our suffering or pretend it's not happening. Instead, we can find help and strength from God to carry on. He does care—so much so that Jesus suffered and died to give us hope eternal. Standing at the manger, the cross, and the empty tomb, we know—beyond any doubt—our God loves us and will always do what is best for us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, lift me up in those times when life is painful and I am full of doubt. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
This message was written by Tshepo G. Kutumela who has served others with LHM in South Africa.
1. Have you ever dealt with a catastrophic disaster?
2. When you're in difficult and trying times, what are your prayers to God like?
3. Do you have a favorite episode in the Bible that speaks to you when you need strength in difficult times?
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