What are we learning through Lent? How have your readings, prayers, or fasting challenged or encouraged you as you follow Jesus?
In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord
1 I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints.
4 You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
6 I said, "Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart."
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7 "Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?"
10 Then I said, "I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High."
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.
16 When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
This psalm is a prayer of questions to God where answers aren’t necessarily expected: Will the Lord spurn forever and never again be favorable? Has His steadfast love forever ceased? Are His promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He angrily shut up His compassion?
These questions come from a life lived, experienced, and observed that differs from the promises and character of God. In other words, they come from a gap in what God says and what we see and experience. It’s about the chasm between what we expect will happen and what actually happens.
Inward—Pray for God to clarify some questions about your own life: what it means, where His promise and plan don’t seem to match what you observe, why He allowed certain things and denied you other things in your story.
Outward—Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to know Christ’s compassionate presence in the midst of life circumstances they can’t explain.
Upward—Thank Christ for the confusion He experienced on our behalf in the garden and on the cross, the comfort that comes from knowing He is present in our confusion, and the confidence that all will be restored in the resurrection.