Revelation 7; Nehemiah 9:38-10:39; Psalm 102
“Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; Incline Your ear to me; In the day that I call, answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, And my bones are burned like a hearth.” (Psalm 102:2-3 NKJV)
There’s a heretical idea floating around some Christian circles that you shouldn’t admit to having problems, especially illnesses, because problems and illness don’t come from faith. Since you know that God’s going to take care of things, start proclaiming God’s solution instead of focusing on your problem. If I were to believe that, I’d be spending a lot of time admonishing the different psalmists. David, and many other authors speak deliberately about their troubles and their sicknesses. The complain about persecution, when it happens, and God hears and answers them in their complaints, just as He does in their praise. In today’s Psalm, the author laments his troubles and asks God to respond speedily – as if God’s been meandering along in the past. My interpretation of the last sentence is that he’s in great pain and in a kind of mental fog. The most positive thing to say about this opening is that no matter what he’s going through, he’s given his problems to God.
We need to recognize that problems and sickness are not caused by lack of faith. They don’t continue because you lack faith. (2 Corinthians 12:7ff) They happen. While I don’t believe that these things happen because God decided we needed to be tested, they become a test of faith. Do we become so consumed with the sickness or the problem that we lose sight of God and His provision during these times? The key is, don’t forget God when you go through troubles. Get mad at Him, and let Him know about your anger. When I’ve done that, He’s given me the assurance of His presence and let me know that He’s dealing with the problem. Weep before the Lord, He dries your tears. Let God know that you lack faith when the problems come. You won’t surprise Him and He’ll continue to work in the situation to bring faith. This doesn’t mean that the problem will be solved the way we want, though. It means that we’ll recognize God’s presence in the midst of any situation and continue to love Him.
Lord, in the midst of my despair, I’ll call out to You.You may not solve my issues the way I want, but You’ll always be in control and I’ll trust You to do what’s right. In those times when I may cry “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief,” Comfort me with Your presence.