Where is God when life is hard?

Posted on October 22, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Wisdom

Life is hard. Life brings pain. Moments of happiness and joy fade quickly when darkness comes. When life is hard God calls out to his people, his voice remains strong and sure.

It is in this setting that David writes Psalm 27. David has known joy and victory. But he has also known the despair of failure and agony. Some of this has come from the betrayal and manipulation of those closest to him. Some has been self-inflicted.

David hears the call to doubt God. He hears the taunts of his oppressors. He hears that he is mocked and his God is mocked. He is tempted to believe that God is unfair. There is a taunt — “God, are you for real?” This is the world of Psalm 27. It is David’s world. But even against this painful tapestry the voice of the Spirit remains.

David chooses to respond with courage, with bravery. Even as people have failed him, as he has failed himself and God, he hangs on to the clarion call of truth.

Read David’s words against this setting. He is not writing in an idyllic pasture on a perfect fall morning. He writes in the storms of life and he cries out for mercy and courage to believe it is a good thing to wait in patience.

Where is God when life is hard? He is there calling you to patience and courage.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation!
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.
Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.
Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.