Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. 2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. 3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. 4 You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. 5 I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; 6 I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: 7 “Will the Lord reject forever? Will He never show His favor again? 8 Has His unfailing love vanished forever? Has His promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?”
The psalmist goes straight to God as his only hope. He’s calling out to God and his answer is silence. Instead of strength and joy, the psalmist sinks deeper into depression. He’s becoming confused because the answer of silence seems to contradict the history of God’s involvement and love for His people.
All he can do is groan! He meditates and remembers what God has done, and surprisingly it has the opposite effect; he is left groaning and feeling spiritually exhausted. He even speaks of God as the one who is keeping him from sleeping. He begins to feel like God has abandoned him and left him in agony. He is so troubled he can’t even speak. He can’t escape even in sleep because he is kept awake night after night.
He is in a deep struggle with God over his fear and depression.
What do you do when you need God to move, yet he seems to be silent? You’re waiting for direction, for deliverance, but all you receive is silence?
If we’re honest, all of us have probably had times in our lives when we questioned God. I’ve had times in my life when I’ve wondered, “What are you doing? How can this be good? Why won’t you move?” When we have emotions like this, we often act like we’ve given it over to God, but really we’ve decided to pack it away and hide it inside ourselves. The problem with this is that the situation doesn’t get better. In fact, in many cases, it gets worse. In the end, we push ourselves away from our true emotions and from God.
The psalmist doesn’t pack his feelings away. No, he is brutally honest with God. He’s telling God his rawest emotions. He can’t understand why God is not moving in his situation and he expresses it; he’s not holding anything back. He is so troubled that he can’t even put his words together! He keeps none of it from God.
He is being honest with God.
Notice what happens in verse 6. This is where we begin to see a change, not in the situation, but in the psalmist. He says, “I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked.” See his honesty with God, his battling against fear and depression, and his questioning to God? None of it drives him away from God, but instead it drives him closer to Him. The psalmist refuses to box up his emotions and instead meditates on God. Despite what he is feeling, he moves away from ungodly despair and towards a fervent desire to know God more fully.
Maybe after reading this you have realized there’s an issue you’ve boxed up and packed away that you need to hear from God about? You can bring your questions and uncertainties before Him. Don’t let your problems turn you away from Him. Instead, turn towards Him and passionately seek to know Him more fully.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.) Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.