Hope in the midst of despair

The final week of January!

There is no denying this month has been tough. As I was thinking about the content for this blog,  I was led to psalm 143. It is a psalm which highlights the utter despair David was going through as he was facing such an overwhelming situation. He paints a vivid picture of the difficulties he is enduring. As the psalm continues, you see David as he pursues and cries out to the Lord. He is struggling but he continues to remember God’s goodness and puts his hope in God.

I hope as we focus on this psalm that we will be encouraged. In a time, such as this, when we do not see drastic change or salvation from the situations we are facing; I pray we can still be found faithful to God. Trials and challenges will come; our faith in God does not mean our life will be of ease and comfort. It does mean we can have hope and we can trust God in everything we face, whether good or bad because He will make a way. I leave you with the psalm and a devotion, may it bring comfort and hope to all you are facing at the moment.

Psalm 143

Lord hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy, in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.

Do not being your servant into judgement for no one living is righteous before God.

The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.

I remember the days of long ago, I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.

For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of your trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

Devotional:

David was in a tough situation at this time, it was an overwhelming situation which was affecting him internally as well es externally. From the beginning of the psalm, David is crying out to the Lord for help. David knows he can trust in God and in who God is to be his refuge within his circumstance. On the other hand, David cannot sugar coat the situation he is in because it is devastating for him; even to the point where his spirit is growing faint within him. This is further developed in verse 7, when he needs the Lord immediately for his spirit is failing him.

In taking time to reflect on the state David was in, there will be many of you reading who feel you can relate to the pain and devastation David was going through. For some of you, you have been struggling for a long time and have been crying out to the Lord for help. It can be hard to understand why suffering can be so prolonged. I pray you would know it does not shake the faithfulness and the goodness of God.

 It can be hard to understand where God is within certain situations within our lives. May we know, God does not forsake us. It is certainly easier to read those words than actually believe them. As we continue through the psalm, we see how David continued to believe in God; even though his situation did not automatically change.

David chooses to meditate on the work of the Lord from the days long ago. Sometimes it is hard to meditate on how life used to be because there is a grief and loss which comes with remembering what you used to have and the people you had too. There is a hopeful aspect to meditating on the previous works because we remember who God is and the authority He has. I do not say the next part easily, but a lot of us have truly been belittling who God is because He has not measured up to our expectations.

This is what Ephesians says about God; Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21).

I admit it is easy to put our human expectations on God and become easily disappointed because life is not as swell as we prayed it to be. I know some of you have been struggling in the same situation for a long time now but do not let it extinguish your faith because God can and always will come through. May we all have faith like David did, he kept his hope steadfast in the Lord.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

David was struggling but he knew God would come through for him. He did not want to remain stuck in his situation. He wanted God to guide Him and lead him to a better place. May your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Even in the midst of his despair, David did not give up hope in there being more to come. He did not question the character of God but trusted in God having control of his situation. A situation which was so overwhelming the best solution was to surrender it. David finishes the psalm by stating who he is before God, I am your servant. He surrendered all to the Lord and chose to wait upon him.

Similar to David we need to have hope. Sometimes when we have been in a place of suffering or in a time of struggle, we can learn to become complacent. It easier to learn to adapt to your situation rather than hope for God to come through. I remind you of the verses from Ephesians because if God is able to abundantly exceedingly more than we ask of think. We can have faith that God will come through. Truthfully it may not be in the way we expected or the time frame we expected but God works all things for His good. David kept his faith steadfast in God, it was a tough situation he was dealing but he knew the power and authority of the God he served.

We need to stop giving up on God when we feel like He has not met our expectations. ( I preach that as much to myself as I do to you.) God is God, He is the one with full authority. Like David we are his servants, we have chosen a life of faith where we surrender all to God and we trust Him in all our circumstances.

This past month has been tough, and we do not know how the rest of the year will pan out. I do pray even in the midst of our struggles and despair we will be able to have hope. May we be found trusting firmly in knowing who God is by studying His word and by spending time in prayer. May we come to fully trust in the promises of God, not by simply knowing them but living them out and allowing them to reach into our very heart and soul. Do not feel like you have to do this on your own. Prayer can be difficult thing so where possible reach out to someone you can pray with. Where you need to be mentored, find someone who can mentor you in your faith. There is no shame in struggling in your faith, the Bible is full of people just like me and you who struggled. They did allow people to come alongside them.

I finish by reminding us all our good shepherd who leads us, Jesus. He knows the very core of what it means to be human. He knows what it is to suffer and for his spirit to be overwhelmed with despair. He is our good shepherd, who is leading us and he knows us all by name. For those of you who feel you are forgotten, it is simply not true. Jesus knows us all and cares for us all. He truly will lead us through it all. Do not lose heart for the Holy Spirit dwells within us and even in our struggles, He is interceding for us. We are truly not alone: God is fully with us in the midst of it all.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)  

Keep faithful in prayer, love Victoria. xx

3 thoughts on “Hope in the midst of despair

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