God And His People

“Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.”
Psalm 85:4-7 NIV

The Psalmist made a plaintive cry to the Lord for relief from the Lord’s “displeasure”. He seems to indicate that the withdrawal of the Lord has gone on for a very long time.

The author begins with a statement and then follows it up with questions. He states what he desires from the Lord. He wants restoration to the Lord’s favour. His three questions are full of pathos.

We can imagine the man’s sense of horror at the absence of the Lord from the life of the nation.

For people who are in pain, time seems to pass so slowly. Day after weary day suffering continues. No end seems to be in sight. The future looks as tragic as the past. Depression sets in and everything painful is magnified.

Then the man asks for not only relief, but for the revelation of the Lord’s love and salvation. He seems to have lost the sense of God’s love in his life. Whatever caused his deep distress had covered the evidence of the Lord’s love for him. He begged for revival, revitalization of his spiritual life so that he could once again rejoice in the Lord.

Today in the Christian community we are not allowed to speak with such candor and honesty. We are taught to say that all is well and we are “happy all the day” as one spiritual song says. This is why so many suffer in silence and dare not tell other believers exactly how they feel about their sorrow (see Psalm 73:12-15).

I urge you to be honest with the Lord and pour out your heart in prayer. I am not calling on you to shock the Christian community with all the doubts and fears that plague your heart. Believers may be unable to cope with your thoughts in affliction but the Lord can accept your comments. He can bear up under the load of your grief.

Tell Him you do not understand why your child needed to die. Ask him what good could come from such a loss.

Tell the Lord just how hard it is for you to bear up under the disability you have. Ask Him how long you must cry out like Habakkuk and He will not answer.

Such questions are not the evidence of sin in your heart but an expression of your limited understanding.

Read the Psalms that speak like this one and bare your pain to the Lord. He wants to hear from you just as He wanted to hear from the Psalmist of old. Come to Him and let it all out. He waits to be gracious to you so come and come now.

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