Psalm 27:13-14 “Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience the Lord’s favor in the land of the living? Rely on the Lord! Be strong and confident! Rely on the Lord!”
Favor. In the land of the living. Let those words sink in. We all want to be the favored one, to win in the circumstances that life throws our way, but oftentimes we do not want to invest the energy and faith required to do so. How do we access this favor? The action words in the verse above – believe, rely, be strong and confident are clues, but sometimes we feel weary and do not know how we can hold on for one more moment. What then? If we continue in this passage, we see the Psalmist gives further advice.
Psalm 28:1 “To You, O Lord, I cry out! My Protector, do not ignore me! If you do not respond to me I will join those who are descending to the grave.”
Crying out implies relationship. The Psalmist does not mince words. He is honest and perhaps a bit dramatic, but then, his circumstances were pretty dire. If you are like me, I want to know the end – how did it turn out for one who is suffering and looking to God for aid? I want to see God’s faithfulness – I want to see His miracles again and again. What was the end result for this Psalmist?
Psalm 31:7 “I will be happy and rejoice in your faithfulness, because you notice my pain, and you are aware of how distressed I am.”
Do not overlook the tense the Psalmist is using – He is still in difficult circumstances, but he has joy and he is trusting in His Savior, even while he waits. He is thankful. Even our Lord endured the cross for the joy set before Him. He knew what that pain would achieve. Pain is often a harsh tutor, and we long to be separated from it, but in that place of beautiful pain, our character can be molded to be more like Christ’s. Perhaps we will even see God’s deliverance rescue us from the physical or mental difficulties we encounter on this earth. But while we tarry, the beauty of resting in our Defender and trusting Him no matter what the results are is incomparable to any peace or comfort the world tries to offer as a substitute.
Psalm 31:22, 24 “I jumped to conclusions and said, “I am cut off from Your presence!” But You heard my plea for mercy when I cried out for help. Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the Lord!”
Wait for Him, friend. Let pain do its work. Whether it is emotional, physical or spiritual pain, God is able to meet your needs and hear your cry. Let us not only trust God in the absence of pain, but cling to Him as our life in the midst thereof.
Pain is a beautiful gift, though the outer appearance betrays its inner beauty.
(c) Denise Pass, Written 5/21/14, Published 5/27/14 on Seeing Deep Blog