I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble,
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.
I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help.
I am too distressed even to pray!
I think of the good old days,
when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
But then I recall all you have done, O LORD;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
O God, your ways are holy.
Is there any god as mighty as you?
You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
By your strong arm, you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
When the Red Sea saw you, O God,
its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
The clouds poured down rain;
the thunder rumbled in the sky.
Your arrows of lightning flashed.
Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
the lightning lit up the world!
The earth trembled and shook.
Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds
I'm always comforted when I read in the Bible, real people that experience what I'm going through or can relate to! As you can see, this Psalm writer experienced times when they thought they were alone or that GOD had turned HIS back on them. Recently I read an article that made me think about the times when Christians feel alone and feel same way. I know I’ve been in a valley
for a while now, that’s how I would describe when I’m going through so many
trials and battles that I feel so beat up, pushed down, and alone, that I’ve lost that ‘loving feeling’.
Our Pastor reminds us all the time that we can’t go on these
feelings and I’ve read in the Bible and heard from other Pastors that we can’t be led
by our flesh (aka ‘feelings’), we need to be led by the spirit.
So how do we get past those ‘whoa whoa feelings’? What I’ve
discovered the easiest way to get past my feelings, is to get past me. That’s
right, put me on the back burner and move someone else to the front – no matter
what I’m going through that’s causing me to feel so bad, there is someone else
who is going through a trial and/or storm that is struggling the same or more. Here's some ideas: there's always praying (I mean real praying- either praying with them or just setting aside time each day by yourself to concentrate on that person and pray for them), sending a person a note (call them, text them, Facebook them, let them know that you are thinking of them and would like to 'be there' for them), volunteering (countless ways to volunteer, check with your church for an outreach program or serving in your church), or just pray to GOD to allow you to help a stranger (safety first ladies- I'm talking about a person in the grocery store who doesn't have enough to pay for their groceries, buying the person behind you at Starbucks their drink, our church calls these 'Random Acts of Kindness'). This is so beneficial on so many levels: 1)
you’re helping someone else out, so that person is now experiencing a blessing,
(2) you are helping yourself by concentrating on someone else’s needs and not
focusing on your own issues, (3) it always brings an added bonus of joy to know
you have helped out another person.
The next way to help you, help yourself, is to remember what
GOD has already brought you through. This isn’t your first trial, you’ve gone
through some rough times before, and GOD was there for you then (as well as HE
is there for you now and HE will be there for you when you go through your next trial). HE never
changes, HE’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow – so when you made it
through those situations in your past, at the time you thought that was so
difficult, you couldn’t see yourself getting out, but GOD made a way. HE can
always make a way, GOD isn’t limited by our circumstances, HE’s empowered
through our circumstances to show us HIS
miracles. Have you ever noticed that you feel closer to GOD, the closer you get
to your knees – when I’m face down crying in despair, I’ve felt GOD’s presence
more than any other time in my life. Hindsight is 20/20, once we’ve made it
through our trial, once we’ve made it to the mountain top, we can look back and
gasp, seeing what we went through, what GOD carried us through, because we will
realize then that we could have never made it through without GOD and that HE
was with us the whole time, HE never left us!
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you
could imagine. For just as the heavens
are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts
higher than your thoughts. The rain and snow come down from the heavens and
stay on the ground to water the earth. They
cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the
hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it
will prosper everywhere I send it. You
will live in joy and peace. The
mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap
their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout
up. These events will bring great honor
to the LORD’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”
GOD’s Word never comes back void, when HE sends us a
promise, when HE quiets us in the storm, when HE brings us strength, peace and
comfort that can only be given from our Heavenly Father - that’s the promises of the Lord God Almighty!
HIS Word never
changes, HIS Promises are the same everyday, HIS Mercies and Grace are new
everyday. HE is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. HE IS.
The trials we go through don’t always make sense, but that’s
because those trials weren’t from GOD (GOD doesn't give chaos, that's the world and the devil). We can’t always figure out the ‘why’
this is happening, but we can ‘KNOW’ that GOD will make it ‘good’ for HIS
children. WE can’t always understand the ‘how’ this is going to end up for our
good, but we can ‘KNOW’ that the GOD who created the universe doesn’t need step
by step instructions to solve anything, HE speaks and ‘it is’.
The day I look forward to, when I don’t have to walk
by faith any longer, but 'when my faith will be my eyes'. When my faith walk has
completed, when my race has finished, when the prize is standing in front of Jesus
and hearing, ‘well done, good and faithful servant’; that is the day when I
will no longer struggle with my ‘feelings’ and the battle between my flesh and
my spirit will finally be over. Until then, my faith will only continue to grow stronger through
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and
temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised
to those who love him. (James 1:12 NLT)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials,
for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character,
and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to
fill our hearts with his love. When we
were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us
sinners. (Romans 5:3-6 NLT)
Yes we can rejoice, we can count all things as joy – that doesn’t
mean we’ll stand in disaster and say thank you GOD for this disaster (after all it wasn't GOD that brought the disaster), that
means we can stand in the middle of the disaster and say “thank you GOD for
delivering me, for I still have ‘fill in the blank
’ in my life”; focus on what we
still have and not what we lost. And YES
that means saying, ‘thank you’ when we don’t FEEL like saying thank you or
praising GOD – that’s why it’s so important when we are on the mountain tops to
praise GOD, it’s easier to thank GOD when everything is going great and once we’ve
developed that as a habit, it will be ‘natural’ for us to find reasons to thank
GOD during the valleys.
GOD deserves our praises ALL the time, no matter the
circumstances, HE didn’t put us in the trial or situation we are in; HE is Holy
and HE is GOD, that never changes – so our praises should never change. I wrote
before about the sacrifice of praise
, I believe when we cry through the praises, GOD
counts those tears and HE receives more glory through those praises than the
ones we give with a happy heart.
So right now, right where you are, thank GOD for HIS
mercies, for HIS grace, and for HIS blessings. Thank GOD for HIS Son that saved
you, for the new life in Christ you have been given, for being an adopted child
of GOD, for the opportunity to begin anew every day. There’s always going to be
something we can thank the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth for, we just
have to push aside those feelings, and look to the Heavens. Remember
Jesus was in the cold, dark grave for your sins BUT now HE sits at GOD’s
right hand enthroned in Glory – even
HE had to walk through the valley before HE could be seated on the mountain
When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But
now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. (Romans 6:10 NLT)