Through crisis to comfort - Hope 103.2

Through crisis to comfort

By David ReayMonday 4 Aug 2014LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Psalm 22:1 and 23-24

  1 My God,my God,why have you abandoned me?
        Why are you so far away when I groan for help?


23 Praise the LORD,all you who fear him!

        Honour him,all you descendants of Jacob!
        Show him reverence,all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
        He has not turned his back on them,
        but has listened to their cries for help. (NLT)

The Psalmist so often begins his songs with lament: this is the most common category of Psalm,reminding us that life in God is not a bed of roses. This particular Psalm was quoted by Jesus on the cross,and its opening phrase is one which resonates with many of us. We wonder what God is doing,where he is,why he doesn’t come good for us.

The Psalmist gives us permission to ask these questions rather than bury them beneath a pious sort of politeness. We are allowed to doubt. And what is more,it seems from the example of the Psalmists that such doubt can lead us to a deeper faith. For while the Psalms often start off with lament,they usually end up with a resounding expression of faith: as it does in this Psalm.

Sure,we protest to God that he has abandoned us. But as we wrestle things out with God,we come to the realisation that he has not given up on us. The crucified and seemingly forsaken Jesus was raised from the dead and brought into the presence of God. The doubting and heartbroken individual is reminded again of God’s strong help.

But it seems that comfort doesn’t come cheap. We come to a more genuine faith not by having it all our own way or by assuming there are no problems with our faith. We come to praise and thank God through the pathway of some doubt and pain and confusion. Such things are not the mark of disobedience but the mark of sheer humanity.

David Reay