Trying to consider it pure joy

Lamentation: 1. A song or poem expressing sorrow, grief and mourning.

A person in pain often feels like God Himself has turned His back. I know that’s how I have often felt during these past 3 years of my ‘wilderness’ experience.

I totally ‘get ‘ what the writer of the book of Lamentations (probably Jeremiah) was saying when he penned these words: “I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is…my soul is downcast within me.”

No peace. No prosperity. And a downcast soul. That’s been my life in a nutshell!

And I have so many unanswered questions.

Why can’t I feel the presence of God?
Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
Why can’t Tim get a job?
Why don’t we have any clarity or vision for our future?
Why does God seem like He’s gone silent?

In Matthew 15 a Canaanite woman came to Jesus crying out “Lord, have mercy on me!” And the Bible records that “Jesus did not answer a word”. The Message translation says “Jesus ignored her”!!! He gave no reply. He remained silent. Not one word.

Aha! So I’m NOT the only person this has happened to!!!!

Ps Paul Bergin (one of our pastors at church) preached a terrific message a few weeks ago that made me stop and honestly think about where I REALLY am on my journey with God.

To be honest, I’ve been at a crossroads. Two choices. Two directions. Either I can walk away and forget God or run back to Him. I’ve been trying to walk away, allowing bitterness and disappointments to creep in. These have been binding me up in a world of hurt and unforgiveness, making me cry out again and again “It’s just not fair!”

The truth is, when God feels far away, I shouldn’t run further away from Him! God isn’t playing some childish game of ‘hide-and-seek’! He is waiting patiently for me and wanting me to pursue Him the way I first did when I met Him. So…although I didn’t feel like doing it, “I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

It often feels like God has rejected me, but I must not let my past discourage me from my future. Just because I’m feeling pain, I must not stop here. The Canaanite woman responded the way I should. She came to Him. She knelt before Him. She worshiped Him. AND SHE KEPT PRAYING! So…although I don’t understand, I will worship. I will pray. I will hunger again after God. I will put Him first. And praise will bring my breakthrough. And somewhere, sometime I might even find it has become a pure joy!

“Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

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