Oh God, why?

Faith has taken a beating in 2020!  How can life become so difficult for so many so quickly?  How can I live in the peace of God when circumstances overwhelm me? IF your faith is bruised and bloodied by doubts and fears, don’t feel like you are just weak, or that your experience is unique.  Look at the words to this old hymn, “O Worship the King” – “Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail; in Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail. Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end. Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.”  Obviously the writer was reflecting on life known by thousands.  And, yes, we are fragile creatures, aren’t we?

The Psalms, the hymnal/prayer book of the Bible, invites us to lament, to mourn when life is difficult. “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?” (Psalm 13:1-2, NLT) “O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble?” (Psalm 10:1, NLT)  There we find the truth that when we feel beaten and bruised in our faith, it is not a sin in the eyes of God.  But, must we wallow in the grief, wrapping ourselves in the sad comfort of misery?  No, we are invited to life and Light.

I love the 73rd Psalm. I have read it a thousand times when my faith wavered, making it a prayer to turn my eyes from the darkness of despair to the dawn of hope. The writer says that he watched people who were godless, who cared nothing for the ways of the Lord, and it seemed that they were living the good life! “They seem to live such a painless life; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They aren’t troubled like other people or plagued with problems like everyone else.” (Psalm 73:4-5, NLT) 

The result of his comparing of his life to others was a heart full of envy, a mind that began to doubt the goodness of God as he became increasingly convinced of the unfairness of it all. Honestly, can you admit that you have felt that way, wondering why their marriage is so sweet and yours such a struggle, why their health is so vibrant and you struggle with chronic pain, why it looks like money grows on trees for him and you have to pinch pennies every day?  

The Psalmist shows us how he found faith again. He says …  “I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood …  Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” (Psalm 73:17, 25-26, NLT) 

At this moment you may not wish to hear this, but I will say it anyway. Lasting satisfaction will never be found in another thing, a new location, or more money. Remember the 10th Commandment? “Thou shalt not covet.”  Stop comparing, longing to have what she has, and look up.  Tell God, even it feels like He’s far away, “I need You to help me refocus my hope in You.”

When our emotions scream for relief,  when our vision narrows down to “right here, right now”  we can make a different choice. We can find a place alone and patiently trust, wait, and hope for the embrace of grace. We can offer what Scripture calls the “sacrifice of praise”  not insincerely babbling prayer words, but seeking to offer genuine worship, thanking God for life and breath.  In Christ, each of can know the promise of Eternal Life which cannot be stolen by any foe – demon or person here on earth.  Are you at least willing to look up? Are you willing to take a day of silence before Him?

Friend, can you believe me when I tell you that there is a grace that is found ONLY in the dark? The resolving verses of Psalm 73 are beautiful. You and I CAN find the same sweet joy IF we will get real with God, let the Spirit give us new vision, and be willing to live in faith.  Read these words aloud – “You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again. But I’m in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is! I’ve made Lord God my home. God, I’m telling the world what you do!” (Psalm 73:25-28, The Message)

This word from the Word may be a testimony you read after overcoming doubts OR it may be a call to hold onto faith in the middle of the fight. Regardless, it God’s Word, a call to a life that hopes in Him.

Don’t worry about the wicked. Don’t envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away. Like springtime flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.

Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Stop your anger! Turn from your rage!

Do not envy others— it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
In a little while, the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.
Those who are gentle and lowly will possess the land;
they will live in prosperous security.” (Psalm 37:1-11, NLT)

Lord, keep us in your grace embrace, renewing our faith in troubled times. Amen.


O Come To The Altar
(an invitation song … from Elevation Worship)

Are you hurting and broken within
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ
Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there’s no reason to wait
Jesus is calling

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling

Oh what a Savior
Isn’t he wonderful
Sing alleluia Christ is risen
Bow down before him
For he is Lord of all
Sing alleluia Christ is risen
Bear your cross as you wait for the crown
Tell the world of the treasure you’ve found

Chris Brown | Mack Brock | Steven Furtick | Wade Joye © 2015 Music by Elevation Worship Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

CCLI License # 810055

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