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2.2 Trust in Times of Trouble
Read Psalm 44. What does it tell us, and why is it relevant for believers of all times?
Psalm 44 is a sincere expression of suffering, lament, and a deep search for God’s intervention. It begins by recalling God’s past deeds on behalf of His people, emphasizing their reliance on God’s help rather than their own strength. However, despite this trust in God’s power and goodness, the people currently face severe trials and suffering.
Here are key verses from Psalm 44:
  1. Psalm 44:1-2 :
    • “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.”
  2. Psalm 44:8 :
    • “In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. “
  3. Psalm 44:16-18 :
    • “For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger. All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;”
  4. Psalm 44:22-25 :
    • “Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.”
The psalmist articulates pain and confusion over the apparent distance of God in times of suffering. Despite this, the psalm concludes with a powerful plea for redemption, reminding that their hope rests on God’s goodness and faithfulness.
This psalm remains relevant for believers of all times for several reasons:
  1. Honesty in Worship:
    • The psalm demonstrates that it’s acceptable to be honest before God about suffering and incomprehension. Believers can find resonance in the authenticity of the psalmists.
  2. Trust Amidst Hardship:
    • Despite experiencing hardship and difficulties, trust in God’s goodness persists. This is an enduring theme in the Christian faith, especially in times of trials.
  3. Emphasis on Past and Present of God:
    • The remembrance of God’s past deeds serves as a foundation for trust in the present. Believers can look back at God’s faithfulness in history to find hope for current challenges.
  4. The Necessity of Prayer:
    • The psalm concludes with a prayer for God’s intervention, emphasizing the importance of prayer in times of suffering and uncertainty.
Psalm 44 encourages believers to bring their deepest thoughts and feelings before God without fear of judgment. This act of honesty and trust lays the groundwork for a deeper relationship with God, even amidst difficulties.
How can the memory of past times when God’s presence felt very real help you cope with times when difficulties make you feel that God is far away?
The memory of past times when God’s presence felt very real can be a valuable resource and source of hope during times of difficulty. Here are ways in which these memories can be helpful:
  1. Strengthening Faith:
    • Remembering specific moments when God’s presence was palpable strengthens faith. These experiences serve as a foundation for the conviction that God is real and faithful, even when current circumstances cast doubt.
  2. Hope in Difficult Times:
    • In times of hardship, the memory of God’s past interventions can serve as a source of hope. It reminds believers that God has been faithful in the past and will continue to be faithful in the present and future.
  3. Dealing with Doubts:
    • When difficulties cause doubts about God’s presence, memories of past experiences can provide a firm foundation. They help overcome doubt and reinforce trust in God’s sovereign actions.
  4. Spiritual Renewal:
    • Memories of vibrant spiritual experiences can be a source of encouragement and renewal. Reflecting on these experiences reminds believers that their faith is based on real encounters with God, not just theoretical knowledge.
  5. Gratitude and Worship:
    • Remembering God’s past goodness leads to gratitude and worship. Reflecting on moments of divine intervention prompts believers to praise God for His faithfulness, even in challenging times.
  6. Prayer Support:
    • During prayer times, memories of past experiences can serve as a foundation for communication with God. Believers can base their prayers on the reality of God’s nearness experienced in the past.
It’s crucial to emphasize that the memory of past experiences should not be used to trivialize or deny current challenges. Instead, it provides a perspective aimed at strengthening faith and providing stability during difficult times. The Bible often encourages the remembrance of God’s past deeds; for example, Psalm 77 urges remembering the works of the Lord when faced with darkness and doubt.
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