A Light In the Darkness.
“His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.” – Psalm 22:31 NLT
Moments of doubt and despair – we all have them – those days when everything seems to be going against us and even God appears nowhere to be found. Our prayers go unanswered and our hopes, unfulfilled. At those times, it is easy to fall into despondency and begin to view the world through lenses that have been darkened by doubt and clouded by the lies of the enemy. Even David, the man after God’s own heart, was susceptible to having dark days of despair and Psalm 22 is a perfect illustration of how he handled those times in his life. He begins his Psalm by calling out to God. Notice his honesty and blatant frankness. He doesn’t sugarcoat his feelings or attempt to put on a happy face for God. No, he asks God, “Where are you? Where have you gone? Why have you abandoned me?” David was not afraid to express his feelings to God. At that moment in his life he felt as if God had left him. He prayed, but received no answer. He cried out, but got no relief. But while David was honest with God, he was always respectful to God. He knew God was holy and deserving of his reverence and fear. He knew God to be trustworthy and faithful to rescue His people. So he knew that his feelings of abandonment, while real, were not a true picture of his God.
There is a huge difference between the reality of our circumstances and their ability to determine the reality and reliability of our God. Whatever was going on in David’s life was difficult. He was surrounded by enemies and trouble. He was weak, worn out, lacking in strength, running out of hope, and fearing for his life. But he continued to call to God. He knew that God was his strength and deliverer. The same God who had given him life at birth and protected him to this point, would protect him now. In spite of his circumstances, David knew he could count on God. He knew the time would come when he would be able to praise God for His deliverance. “For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help” (Psalm 22:24 NLT). David’s trust in God was based on his understanding of God. He knew God well enough to know he could trust Him. He did not let his circumstances determine his faith.
Isn’t it amazing that David, in his sorrow and despair, ended up writing a Psalm that would reflect the very feelings of Jesus Himself as He hung on the cross. Psalm 22 is considered a Messianic Psalm, prophesying the very suffering of the Lord Himself. Verses 11-18 paint a vivid picture of Jesus’ last moments on the cross. “My life is poured out like water.” “My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.” “They have pierced my hands and feet.” “They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.” In the midst of his own suffering, David unknowingly echoed the future sufferings of Christ. Which should remind us that God the Father and Christ His Son understand fully what we are going through at any given moment. They understand our weakness and they know what it means to suffer. We are reminded of this in the book of Hebrews. “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT).
Father, You are not above my times of need and suffering. You are not distant and disinterested. You understand my weaknesses better than I understand them myself. You feel my pain. You empathize with my sorrow. You had to watch Your own Son suffer for my sins and die an agonizing death that was meant for me. And because He died, I can call out to You and receive mercy and grace when I need it the most! Thank You so much. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men