Read Psalm 43:1-5
You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?
You can relate to this psalm, can’t you? I can. Sometimes—many times—our circumstances seem to indicate anything but a Heavenly Father who is closely and lovingly hovering over every detail of our lives with his generous and providential care. Sometimes our reality is sickness that attacks our bodies, a devil that attacks our families, a failure that shakes our confidence, a temptation that tests our resolve, a sin that cracks our character, people that disappoint our expectations, and events that wallop the stuffing out of us. And sometimes, that’s on a good day.
So in the midst of that raw, gritty reality of life, where is the God who has promised to meet our every need, deliver us from our every danger, fulfill our every desire, answer our every prayer and bless our every moment? Sometimes he seems distant, silent, and uncaring. And we are conflicted. Yes, we believe in his goodness, trust his promises, depend on his kindness, yet we cry out, “where are you…why have you abandoned me…do you not care…is all that I believe about you not the reality of how you deal with your people today?”
The writers of this psalm, the sons of Korah, likely had experienced this same raw, gritty reality for themselves, and more likely, had witnessed it as a common occurrence in the lives of all God’s children. And they, too, were conflicted. So they wrote a song about it. On the one hand, they poured out their hearts to God, expecting him to rescue them (Psalm 43:1), protect them (Psalm 43:2), guide them (Psalm 43:3), fill them with joy (Psalm 43:4) and lift them out of their anxiety to a place of security in him (Psalm 43:5). They trusted that God could do that, would do that; they had enough faith to boldly pray and make those requests of him.
Yet their reality was a sense of abandonment, disappointment, and vulnerability. (Psalm 43:2)
Now really, isn’t that where much of our Christian lives are lived, too? Don’t we often find ourselves in that same gritty gap, somewhere between the promises of God and the fulfillment of those promises? Well guess what? That’s called the life of faith! And moreover, that’s exactly where faith is expressed, tested and rewarded—the gap between promise and fulfillment.
Now what are you to do with that little dose of truth? Well, if you are in that gritty reality, you’ve got to just “grit it out.” You’ve got to “faith” it! You’ve got to put on hope—and keep it on! There is no easy alternative. Sometimes, that is just the way of faith.
So if that’s just the tough reality of your world right now, please consider this:
“We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character;
and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint.”
Hang in there! You won’t be disappointed.
“Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called “the rejoicing of hope.”