Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

worryWhen Christians are being beheaded in the middle east, when a man shoots people praying in a church, when young girls are taken and forced into sex slavery, when you are falsely accused or ridiculed for your beliefs, it often feels like God is in hiding. The psalmist wondered the same. He begins Psalm 10 by asking, “Why do you stand afar off, Oh Lord? Why do your hide in times of trouble?”

The psalmist sees the wicked prosper, the greedy renounce God and the absence of any thought of God. It appears the Lord is absent. I have felt the same way at times in my life–a diagnosis of cancer, the death of a brother, the wrath of an insecure boss…we could all come up with a list of times when God feels absent.

During seasons of adversity, our trust is tested. It is during those times of adversity that the darkness of our heart is revealed and we appreciate God’s grace even more. Our thoughts are revealed–do we secretly wish harm to the person who is doing the injustice? Is our attitude one of wanting to take the person down or hurt back? Do our emotions of anger and hate get the best of us? Is forgiveness far off?

During trouble, our heart is exposed. Will we respond differently than those who do not claim Christ? Or will we trust God and allow Him to do the work needed in us?

Psalm 10 says that the Lord doesn’t hide or forget us in times of trouble. And while he may not deliver us from the adversity, he observes our troubles and grief and is our helper. He hears our cries and does “justice to the fatherless and the oppressed:that the man of the earth may oppress no more (v18).”

The promise is for His justice. Everyone will answer to God one day. All wrongs will be righted!

So when it appears God is absent, remind yourself He is not. He is working on your behalf even though you don’t see the full picture. Only God has the full perspective–one reason it is so difficult for us to trust. And we prefer to focus only on the people doing the injustice, rather than the work God is doing in our own heart. Yet that is part we control and and can conform to the image of Christ.

 

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