-BY GRACE STRUMPFER
In Psalm 44, our roadtrip takes a difficult turn. The first part (v1-8) is easy: God is good and faithful, etc. We know that, and we love reading about it. In the second part (v9-26) we change gears. The psalmist begins to deal with intense confusion and distress as God, it seems, has abandoned them – and for no apparent fault of their own. (v17-19) How many of us have found ourselves here?
We know God to be faithful, loving and kind; we’ve heard testimonies (v1-3), we may even have breakthroughs of our own (v4-8) – but somehow we still find ourselves in times of great distress (v9-16). Like the psalmist, we wonder if God has somehow forgotten us or “fallen asleep.” (v23,24) We don’t “get” it. Without Him we are utterly helpless, so where is God in a time like this?
We run through scenerios: “Have I done something wrong – is this punishment?”(v20,21) or “Maybe He is too busy for my problems.” (v23) or, the biggest one of all: “Where is His love in all of this? What kind of Love lets people suffer? If this is what it’s like to live for God, how can I trust Him?” (v17-19) But condemnation, despair, and fear are tactics of the enemy, so what then is the truth?
Paul rallies us to faith by quoting from our Psalm in Romans 8: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble …or persecution …or sword? As it is written, “For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Ps44:22) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am convinced that …(nothing) in all creation will separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:35-38) We can have faith in His love!
I’m reminded of a profound statement made by Pastor Daan the other day. He said, “Essentially, as believers, we live in the mystery of suffering by finding refuge in the mystery of who God is.”
Have you forgotten His Name(s)? (v20) One that comforts me is, “El Roi,” God who Sees me (Gen16:13). Our heavenly Father is not blind, nor is He callous to our distress.
Today as our hearts echo the psalmist’s cry, “Redeem us for the sake of Your steadfast love!” (v26) let us cling to Jesus, and hide in the truth of who He is.
Holy Spirit, would You give us deeper revelation of what our Father is really like?