“O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” Psalm 3:1-6 ESV
In these times of trial and suffering, we might feel suffocated (figuratively speaking) because of everything happening around us. A variant of COVID-19 has developed in South Africa and we can really now feel it’s sting affecting all of us in different ways. Many of the people in our church family have been infected with the virus.
The atheist would say, “Look at all this suffering and pain – obviously there is no God.” Perhaps you have also started to doubt God’s existence and sovereignty. Did He forget about His people on planet earth?
Hear these comforting words from the prophet, Isaiah: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV
David, the man after God’s own heart, faced many trials and tribulations in his lifetime…but he took all of his fears, doubts and pain to God in prayer. He cried out to Him! David knew that he couldn’t rely on circumstances or people to soothe his troubled mind. “… you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head…” Only in our Father’s everlasting arms can we find true protection, comfort, perseverance, peace…and even supernatural joy during dark times.
How could David sleep peacefully and awake confidently amidst all his suffering? “…the Lord sustained me…” Even with thousands of people chasing him, he was decisively not afraid – his trust was in the Savior. The Lord Almighty is much bigger and stronger than a tiny virus.
God wants us to cry out to Him in prayer, and even though we sometimes don’t know what to say “… the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26 ESV).
“O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer!”
Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1855)