Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Looking Glass Lens of Power and Truth

Think back to your most recent crisis/breakdown/panic moment. That time when all things seemed to be weighing you down and new problems kept coming your way. What were you feeling? What were you thinking? What consoled you? How did you rise above that situation? What was your hope?

Be honest with yourself. For me, I know that when everything seems to pile on, turning to God first is not easy. I am a person that becomes very consumed by my problems and can sometimes only see the narrow way out. I rely on my own strength and knowledge to get me through.

During my morning quiet time this morning, I stumbled upon Psalm 77. Its an incredibly powerful psalm full of conflicting emotions, identifiable experiences, and undeniable truth. Take a look:

I cried out to God for help;
    I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
    at night I stretched out untiring hands,
    and I would not be comforted.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
    I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
    I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
    the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
    My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
“Will the Lord reject forever?
    Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
    Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
    Has he in anger withheld his compassion?
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
    the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
    What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
    you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
    the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God,
    the waters saw you and writhed;
    the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
    the heavens resounded with thunder;
    your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
    your lightning lit up the world;
    the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
    your way through the mighty waters,
    though your footprints were not seen.
20               You led your people like a flock    
                        by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Reading this psalm brings so much truth on to how we are to handle our tough situations as Christians. Nothing is easy and we are not told to belittle our problems. Rather, we are called to think back on all that God has done for us; look back on all those other times we panicked and see how God brought us through.

From the experience of the psalmist, we are to view our present difficulties by appealing to the testimony of the past (referring to verse 10). God is stronger, wider, more powerful than anything else in this universe and has proven himself to us time and time again. And he has done all of that to us on a personal level. Yup, you and me, individually. 

I know its not easy. Its a discipline that I greatly still need to work on. But I believe that remembering God's faithfulness through ALL things is the key to working through the toughest of situations. Developing a looking glass lens of God's power and faithfulness to look through in any situation enables you to ONLY see God's love and care for you and how he continually pulls you through for his glory.