July 21 - From the Brink of Hopelessness
Most of us can identify with the psalmist when he relates his experience of the dark night of his soul with us. In the day of trouble and deep distress, when all hopes are gone and we are left with utter despair, what can we do? The distress seems to be very personal, not only national. The journey of the psalmist from deep anguish and perplexity to being comforted by hope and to worship the Lord is something we can learn from today.
When his trouble first came, the psalmist cried out aloud to God for Him to hear. He sought the Lord day and night until he was wearied. He refused to be comforted by others. He moaned and he meditated on his situation and his spirit fainted as a result. He could not go to sleep and he was so troubled that he could not speak. The answer to his prayers had not come and he did not know what to do.
It was at that time that he began something different: instead of dwelling on his troubles, he chose to dwell on the Lord and what He had done for him in the past. He considered the days of old and remembered his own song in the night. The song was written once when he was in trouble and the Lord carried him through. The Lord is the One who gives us song in the night hours of our existence. This began to awake his spirit and he began to meditate in another direction. His spirit made a diligent search and truth came to him. The Lord would not spurn forever, He would be favorable again to him, His steadfast love would never cease and His promises would not end for all time. He had not forgotten to be gracious and his anger would not shut up His compassion.
So he was resolved to count on his years of experiencing God’s presence, of being at His right hand. He began to remember the mighty deeds of God and on them he meditated. Instead of settling his thoughts on the present troubles, he chose to think of God’s goodness and greatness. This was how the psalmist turned from despair to hope, from his difficulties to the abundant mercies of God. His prayers turned to worshipping God’s greatness and holiness. He asked the Lord to make known His might among the peoples. He was no longer self-centered but was brought to the vast Kingdom of God in the world.
The honest inner journey of the psalmist can be yours this day as you can, with God’s help, get out of any troubling situations you are in. Begin to think of His power, holiness and mercy instead of filling your mind with your own troubling affairs. Hope comes when you think of God but despair comes when you choose to dwell on your own problems. The solution does not lie in your prayers being answered, it lies in the person of God. Think of Him now.
Ps 77:1-15 2 Chron 4:1-6:11 Rom 7:1-13 Prov 19:22-23