Apr 19, 2012

“Worn down from the long, long road trip”

From time to time all of us can feel worn down from life. Note that I said all of us. How long you stay down has a lot to do with your perspective; and for me, my perspective comes from God’s view of things as written in the Bible.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible that I like to read when I am worn down from life and my thoughts are going downward is Psalm 77; especially Eugene Peterson’s version; “The Message”

God has used Psalm 77 to turn my heart from being downcast to being filled with hope on numerous occasions; if I let Him.

My exhortation to you is to let me walk this passage through with you, and I pray that God will reveal His love to you today as together we go through this psalm.

I love how the writer starts out:

V1 “I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.”

The psalmist is not concerned with being religious. He needs help and he YELLS out to God believing that God is listening to his cries because He cares.

He goes on: 

2-6 I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn't heal. When friends said, "Everything will turn out all right," I didn't believe a word they said. I remember God—and shake my head. I bow my head—then wring my hands. I'm awake all night—not a wink of sleep; I can't even say what's bothering me. I go over the days one by one, I ponder the years gone by. I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together.

This writer is so troubled that he can’t even remember what is wrong, let alone tell us.
This guy is in trouble; he can’t figure out how to get his life back together! A different version says; “You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak” (NKJV).

He begins to ask some questions regarding the character of God:

7-10 Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stalked off and left us? "Just my luck," I said. "The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him."

It is ok to ask questions, but then we need to stop and get answers. The correct answers to each of the psalmist’s questions are:

·         Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? NO!

·         Will he never smile again? NO!

·         Is his love worn threadbare? NO!

·         Has his salvation promise burned out? NO!

·         Has God forgotten his manners? NO!

·         Has he angrily stalked off and left us? NO!

·         And He has gone out of business? NO!

The psalmist stops! And makes a decision to recall and to remember when God helped him in the past:

11-12 Once again I'll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I'll ponder all the things you've accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.

He goes on and remembers how God has rescued Israel in the past and starts praising God:

13-15 O God! Your way is holy! No god is great like God! You're the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do— You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.

Catch that, he said “worst kind of trouble”: Wait a minute; wasn’t this the psalmist who needed God to hold his eyelids open because he was so discouraged? What changed?

The psalmist goes on to recall how God took Israel from Egypt to the Promised land via the Red Sea:

16-19 Ocean saw you in action, God, saw you and trembled with fear; Deep Ocean was scared to death. Clouds belched buckets of rain, Sky exploded with thunder, your arrows flashing this way and that. From Whirlwind came your thundering voice, Lightning exposed the world, Earth reeled and rocked. You strode right through Ocean, walked straight through roaring Ocean, but nobody saw you come or go.

Finally, he goes on to describe how behind Moses and Aaron was a God who had everything under control:

20 Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron, You led your people like a flock of sheep.

I don’t know where you are at right now; but I do know that you don’t have to remain there; God is waiting to help you through.

God WILL make a way when there seems to be no way. God WILL complete the work that He bean in you!

Need further help? Feel free to drop me an email at hopeofhiscalling@juno.com

Here is an audio version of Psalm called; “Losing Your Song in the Night”

 The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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