Monday, April 21, 2014

Trusting God when everything is going wrong

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves living on the backside of the desert. Frustrated, angry and feeling confused about prayer, faith and trusting God. It may be influenced by a prolonged period of spiritual dryness, long term illness, or depression. Many people find career downsizing and unemployment to feel like they have been thrust into a dry desert pilgrimage, with no hope in sight to regain financial stability. 

We may not even know why the desert is there in our lives, but the series of set-backs begin to create a domino syndrome as problem after problem tumbles through your life. We may find ourselves blaming everyone and everything, even God. However, desert pilgrimages may be permitted by God as a means to deepen our spiritual lives, not punish us for past sins.

David experienced seasons of wandering out in a desert wilderness with nothing going right, and no end in sight. On one occasion he was being pursued by his son Absalom.While on his way back to Jerusalem, he had to pass through the dry, desolate Valley of Baca. A bitter cruel land with little resources to sustain him, and with his strength ever weakening. It was here that he wrote Psalm 84. It was written to be played on the Lyre as a song of worship in this Quiet Place.

David discovered  4 principles in the desert that he reflects  upon in this psalm:

The Desert Creates a Thirst for God

When resources  are gone and there is no where else to turn, we finally turn to God. David was no where near Jerusalem, yet in his heart and mind it was as if he were. He reflected,

"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." Psalm 84: 1-2

He was thirsty...yearning to be in the presence of God.  The desert experience, should so arouse our soul, that we become parched and yearn to bask in God's presence.
"My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"  Psalm 42:2

The Desert Restores a Desire to Praise God

When we are in the desert, it is so tempting to blame God. Strained finances, ruined reputations, loss of employment, hopes and dreams, can be devastating. Deep within our hearts we can muse that God could do something about it, but He hasn't.The desert is a lonely place, but the heart can begin to praise God while we cry out in a hushed whisper,

"O Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah:"
Psalm 84:4

"That my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever." Psalm 30:12

The Desert Reminds us to Depend upon God

In the desert the first thing we do is try to muscle,  bargain, or bribe our way out of tough circumstances. God desires to be our strength and our primary resource in the desert. He wants our heart to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, and trust that He will provide all the strength we need. 

When the desert becomes a pilgrimage to deepen our experience of God. rather than a means to get through a tough time, we will begin to change from the inside out. 

"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:5-7

The Desert Awakens the Heart to Worship God

"Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob.  Selah Look upon our shield ,O God; look with favor on your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.  For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Beloved) O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you." Psalm 84: 8-13

When you find yourself in the Desert

Acknowledge  your need to have God identify any areas that may be minimizing your thirst for spiritual renewal, and personal spiritual revival.

"For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and they have hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which cannot hold water." Jeremiah 2:13 Amplified Bible (AMP) 

Only Jesus Christ can fill the spirit of a person who believes in Him, and opens their life to His Lordship.

"Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water." John 7:37-38 

Begin praising God for your desert and begin to  rediscover a renewed dependency upon Him.

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. "1 Thessalonians 5:18

Recognize that depending upon God for all things brings glory to Him, and deepens your faith.

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Your desert pilgrimage just may be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Take a few moments and reflect upon the encouraging and inspiring words to this song by Matt Redman called "Ever Faithful."


No comments:

Post a Comment