The Seeing and Saving Lord
The pages of the Psalms express most, if not all, emotions known to the human heart. These divinely inspired songs show full awareness that life this side of the fall will involve not only joy and exaltation but also pain, disappointment, and confusion. We can all relate to the psalmist and find comfort when we encounter questions of God like “Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1) and “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1). We are clearly not the first people to face hardship!
The Scriptures respond to these realities with neither abject hopelessness nor optimistic platitudes. Rather, hope is offered and found in the character and promises of God Himself.
This hope can come from different angles. From one, there is the wonderful truth that God sees the distress of His people, as when the Israelites were in Egypt and the Lord assured them, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people” (Exodus 3:7). If you are in the midst of trouble and grief, know that God sees, knows, and is able and willing to save—even if it’s not exactly the sort of salvation you have in mind.
Those who are victims of mistreatment of any kind, meanwhile, are met with the promise that God will settle all accounts. Sometimes justice comes in this life, fully or in part; but some matters will have to wait to be settled until this life is over. We can rest assured, though, that they will be settled. God “has a day” when every wrong will be made right and every tear wiped dry (Isaiah 2:12; 25:8).
Yet another way to find hope in God is to consider that “the LORD is king forever and ever.” He lifts up nations and brings them down. He exalts rulers and humbles them. Indeed, the power of life and death belongs to Him.
Why is this a comfort? Because we know who is in charge. Who would you rather have in charge? Who else is infinite in power and might, with an equal measure of love and wisdom? Who else knows the end from the beginning and the thoughts of all? Only our God, and it is He alone who reigns.
Whatever circumstances you find yourself in right now, the Psalms invite you prayerfully to soak your soul in them and fill your heart with a vision of God’s grace and grandeur. Doing so may not make your particular difficulties disappear—but it will put them into proper perspective. Casting the eyes of our hearts on the God of glory reminds us that He is the greatest reality in our lives, greater even than the struggles we face. He sees, He will make things right, and He reigns. Look to Him and, when facing difficult days and confusing and conflicting emotions, resolve to do as the psalmist does: “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11).
Habakkuk Rejoices in the Lord
17Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed4 instruments.
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