Perhaps some of us can understand the Psalmist’s cries to God and can relate to his feeling of hopelessness. He questions God in v7 to 9- "Will the Lord reject forever and never again show favor? Has His faithful love ceased forever? Is [His] promise at an end for all generations? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?" The Psalmist was being real and honest with God and asking hard questions. What if God does not keep his promises? Where is God in my pain and suffering? These are common questions that many have asked.
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we can see God’s chosen ones experiencing the same silence. The people of Israel complained for years in the wilderness thinking that God has abandoned them. They never stop asking and seeking, while they wait in hope for a time of comfort. We never really know why we go through times of distress and despair and its natural for us to ask questions. Sometimes we find out the reason but sometimes we do not. Therefore, it is so important to hold on to the Word of God and to trust Him. Just like the Psalmist, as he goes through this process of questioning, it must end with remembering who God is and what he has done. Our questioning must always end with hope and never let your doubts and questions consume you and make you distant from God. We look back in the past so that we may be able to stand firm in the present even though we cannot see God working powerfully behind the scenes. Take the example of Joseph who was in prison for 13 years, God use trials to bring about something good. At the end of Joseph’s trials, Joseph helped saved many lives.
The Psalmist concludes his psalm speaking of God as a shepherd who leads His people. The picture is that God is in charge and we are supposed to follow him. David’s famous Psalm 23 comes to mind which speaks of going through the valley of the shadow death, but God still leading us. We will go through difficult times. We will go through frightening times. But God is still leading us to the pasture. God is still walking in front of us, protecting us from danger.
Have you ever felt like the Psalmist?
How can we hold on to God’s promises and remember who God is in times of despair?
Father, give me wisdom to better understand the word and I pray for your supernatural strength to live through troubling times. I pray for my faith to increase knowing that you are with me even through the valleys and knowing that you are with me even when you seem silent. Amen.