What do you desire most when suffering? Where do your thoughts run most when circumstance is difficult? What sort of God do you seek when the trials of life multiply?
Is anguish something to be avoided at all costs? Is there any profit in pain?
What should be your greatest desire in grief? What should you and I want most when suffering?
Please draw your attention to the Psalms, Psalm 130 to be exact. Please allow the God of grace to speak with words of mercy and might…words that should orient us to what we need most.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! 2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
Notice the cries for mercy are borne out of the blackness of experience. Psalm 130 follows, and would be sung after recounting the miseries of sour relationships described in Psalm 129. The throws of pain become the occasion for what…
3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
What? Did those two verses catch you off guard? This human being, out of anguish of circumstance, is lead to consider his sin. How many of us have had our eyes more on the pain instead of our wrong responses to the pain? For the psalmist, circumstantial suffering has become the occasion to consider what was drawn out of his soul. Pain is often the place where doubt of God’s goodness or greatness is revealed…AND the perfect time to confess such lack of faith.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
More than the soldier waits for morning, waits for relief from diligent duty, waits for reprieve from dangers in the dark…the psalmist waits for God and hopes in His word. For what does your soul wait…for circumstance to change? From where does your hope come…from friends, from medicine, from the confession of other? Only the Lord, through His Word, can bring relief to your soul.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
What sort of God do you need most…even in agonizing trials? Do you need a healer? Do you need a redeemer? No one likes pain. In the end, it comes down to this: do I need Jesus plus…plus health, plus happiness, plus life, plus vindication, plus love, plus respect? Do I need to be happy…OR do I need most to be holy?
The watershed want is this: do you need a God to fix your circumstance or a God to redeem you from sin, Satan, and self?
10,000 Blessings in The Redeemer,