Blog

The Journey from What I Feel to What Is

Today I feel the weight of unanswered prayer. I feel the burden of a depraved culture. I feel the ache of my own heart that is still in need of spiritual growth and maturity. I feel the sorrow of distance from God that my own selfishness brings. And today, once again, I’m on the journey from what I “feel” to what is.

The resurrection power that I spoke of yesterday, that we celebrated this past weekend, is still very much available, but in the face of dark days, the light of early resurrection morning can begin to fade. So I need to take a journey.

I start the journey as I do every day, on the only path toward hope: The pathway of truth. I open God’s message that counters every false notion and every doubt-filled fear. Today’s journey takes me through two Psalms that provide a foundation for Hope.

Psalm 42 and 43 both give us the picture of a sorrowful believer, yearning for God’s presence, but one that is experiencing distance from him because of his current circumstances. Sin is not the problem this time, that isn’t the reason this “Son of Korah” feels distant from God. But the distance is both a physical state and an emotional reality. This worshiper isn’t able to be in the same position of leading corporate worship that he has experienced in the past. He is far from the sanctuary (literally), and all that he once enjoyed while worshiping God:

[box]As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. (Psalm 42:1–4)[/box]

Don’t miss this important detail: this Psalm was written by a worship leader. This sorrowful poem was written by one of the “Sons of Korah” the designation for one whose family was assigned by David “in service of song” for the “house of the Lord.” The temple wasn’t built yet, but the tabernacle housed the ark of God (representing God’s presence) in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 6:31–37).

But Jerusalem is miles away. Enemies are breathing down their necks. And this son of Korah feels forsaken.

Even though he feels like God has forgotten him, he “feels” like God is far away and distant, uncaring and unconcerned—this sorrowful believer preaches truth to himself. He realizes that remembering the works of God that he has seen in the past, will provide him with hope for the future.

Three verses in these companion chapters all say the exact same thing (Psalm 42:5, 11; and 43:5). They issue the challenge: Preach to the heart, the truth that our hope is found in God alone:

[box]“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”[/box]

This sorrowful believer gives instruction to himself to consider God’s position and power as he is in turmoil. Does that change our emotional state? Not always, but it changes our focus.

When I walk through the corridors of my personal history with God, it encourages me. I’m reminded of His demonstrations of faithfulness that I’ve experienced—repeatedly throughout my life. When I move beyond that and look at His power displayed through creation, through other believers’ lives, through fulfilled prophecy and answered prayer—the distance between despair and hope begins to close. My focus and perspective changes.

Rather than being overwhelmed by all that I see that God isn’t doing in my life, I’m encouraged by remembering all He has already done—and that gives me hope.

A fresh perspective doesn’t change my circumstances.

The Singer of Psalm 42 and 43 isn’t suddenly transported from the “land of Jordan” far from God’s sanctuary (and far from God’s presence) to the city of Jerusalem where he can once again lead the congregation in praise. But his fresh perspective provides the strength this weary traveler needs. He is able to honestly cry out to God, to express his sorrow (without fear of reprimand) and to state his request without dishonoring the God he desires to reach.

This believer is surrounded by real enemies that produce real fears (just as you and I are), but he knows that hope is not lost.

Hope is not lost when we remember, and focus on, the faithfulness of our Redeemer.

If you are one who is struggling in deep sorrow today, or maybe enduring a long season of sadness, let’s pray for one another. You don’t have to tell us what you’re dealing with, if you don’t like to leave comments, just post the request: “Will you pray for me?” and we will know that you need the Body of Christ to intercede for you.

We will be praying for your soul to experience renewed hope as you remember and recount God’s steadfast love for you, and the faithfulness you’ve experienced with Him in the past!

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

21 Comments

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Gail ~

    Thankful God used this in your life today. May you experience the tender care from the God of all comfort today!

    Blessings, friend!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Yes, Julie, praying now!

    May you be filled with courage for obedience, with wisdom that clears away confusion, may the Spirit give you discernment, and the Father provide you with grace for faith beyond what you now see. May God’s Word protect your mind and heart and keep you walking in the course He has prepared for you. May you experience the joy of abiding in His presence. And may you experience tangible evidence of His great love for you. Praying that He reminds you of His faithfulness when your heart grows weary and fearful!

    “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

    Love and prayers, friend ~

  • Tami Wood

    It never ceases to amaze me that God knows what we need & exactly when we need it. Your posts are such a blessing to everyone who reads them. I read them everyday, but I felt led to thank-you for today’s🙏

  • Elaine

    yes, please pray for my family….because of poor choices, my son is enduring much stress. I tell him we will get through them and we will. Thank you.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Kathy ~

    Yes, I am praying for you now! May God bring hope and encouragement. Praying that He will surround you with a network of support, if you have practical needs, that He will provide help. Praying that you will experience the peace and comfort that only He can provide. May He provide wisdom, grace, and unity.

    “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!” (2 Thessalonians 3:16

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Rachael ~

    I am so sorry for the difficult month, especially this week. Even though I don’t know what you are facing, God is intimately aware of every detail. He sees, He knows, and He cares. It may not be obvious to you right now, but I assure you, He is at work. I pray that He gives you tangible evidence of His redemptive activity. May He provide you with discernment and wisdom for every decision, and courage to walk in obedience to His Word.

    May He sustain you with the knowledge of His tender care and support you with His unfailing, steadfast love.

    “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,k neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39)

    Praying for you, friend ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Tina ~

    I am praying for you! May God be your sustaining provider! May He give you grace for increasing faith, joy as you endure, and a heart to see Him glorified through every sorrow. Praying He will be your comfort and hope. Praying for His faithful love to surround you. May He provide a band of prayer warriors to intercede for you in this time of need! Praying that His tender care for you will result in greater spiritual growth, in much praise, and a powerful testimony for His great Name’s sake!

          “I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;
                I will sing praises to You among the nations.

          For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens
                And Your truth to the clouds.

          Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
                Let Your glory be above all the earth.” (Psalm 57:9–11)

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Elaine ~

    Thank you for sending in your request. We will pray! May God provide you with wisdom for sharing truth and grace with your son. Praying that your son will experience God at work and run to the cross for every need. Praying that God will direct you through every decision and provide you with faith to obey when obedience is tough. May God clearly confirm the good works He has planned for your son (Eph. 2:10). May He provide you with an eternal perspective and joy in this process as you look to Him to supply you with strength.

    Praying for you to be aware of His unfailing love in tangible ways.

    “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9)

  • Kara Plank

    Will you pray for me? 2 years of sadness, and I don’t see any hope of it letting up any time soon

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Kara, yes, I am praying for you! 2 years of sadness . . . that makes me so sad to know that you’ve been carrying this pain that long!

    Praying that God will meet you in your sorrow and provide healing and joy. Praying for you to be surrounded by compassionate and wise truth-speakers, and to be filled with hope for what God can do. Praying for tangible help and provision from your merciful Father.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Lanna ~

    The Father is aware, He sees all that you are facing, He knows, and He cares, and you can trust Him.

    “The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed,
    A stronghold in times of trouble;
    And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
    For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:9–10)

    I don’t know what your family is facing, Lanna, but the Father does, and I am asking Him to minister to you. May you see tangible evidence of His lovingkindness and faithfulness.

  • Mixhekle

    Hi will you please pray for me and my walk with Jesus. It’s like a roller coaster and I need a stable walk with him.