I’ve been praying with a good friend who has a full plate right now. And it isn’t filled with her favorite things. It seems her challenges just keep coming at her, trying to knock her out.
This appears to be the case for many people across the world. There is much uncertainty and fear with terrorism, political upheaval, health scares and personal dilemmas happening every day.
Sometimes it is hard to see God’s work in the middle of our struggles. If often takes a shift in our perspective.
I wanted to reassure my friend that she was not alone in her troubles, so I searched God’s Word and found an encouraging verse in Psalm 77.
Psalm 77 Comfort in Times of Trouble (NLV)
1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! 2 When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. 3 I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.
4 You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! 5 I think of the good old days, long since ended, 6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now. 7 Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? 8 Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
10 And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 12 They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. 13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? 14 You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
I’ve had those sleepless nights where I found no comfort in my soul.
I’ve been overwhelmed as I long to see tangible evidence of God’s work.
I wonder if my sin is too great for God’s redemptive work.
But then, I take my eyes of myself and my problems and turn them toward heaven.
I begin to recall the way God has performed wonderful deeds in my life.
I keep a gratitude list in my journal where I can go to be reminded of His power. Here is a short list that is part of an ever growing inventory of evidence of God’s faithfulness in my life.
Although the Lord did not heal my dad of lung cancer, several years earlier he was cured of thyroid and kidney cancer. This extension of my dad’s life allowed my sisters Judy and Patti to join our family during that time. After Dad died, God was a father to my family. He was a comfort to my widowed mom. He also gave mercy and grace to many people who stepped forward to help my family heal.
He healed my nephew Greg from a devastating neck injury when he was in high school. Greg celebrated his forty-third birthday last week.
When I was wondering how we would successfully raise our physically challenged son, Gabe, God brought me Diane Newman who took my hand and placed it in Jesus’ hand as she reminded me that He would lead the way in everything that concerned me. He surrounded us with incredible people who showed us the way.
After I finally admitted how much I was struggling with depression, He gave me an honest friend to point the way to the help I needed. I was able to understand the root causes and gained the tools to move forward. Not only was I healed physically and emotionally, but I drew closer to God in my spiritual walk.
You are the God of great wonders!
In the midst of our trouble, it can be easy to lose our focus. That’s when it is nice to have a friend who will remind us, “Hey, it’s going to get better. Stand strong. I know it feels horrible now, but then it will get better.”
If you are struggling today, take a moment to remind yourself of the wonderful things God has done in the past. It helps you remember He is with you always.
Tell me how I can pray for you today.