But you, O Lord, reign forever;
your throne endures to all generations.
Why do you forget us forever,
why do you forsake us for so many days?
Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored!
Renew our days as of old--Lamentations 5: 19-21
For some of us the questions asked here never come to us-Has God forgotten us? Has He forsaken us? Sometimes when great trials come and there seems to be no end in sight this becomes our lament. It is comforting to know that we are not alone in this question-it has been raised by God's people over the centuries-by very godly men like the prophet Jeremiah who is often given credit for writing the book of Lamentations, though the authorship is not really known. Even the man after God's own heart, David uttered this lament:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest. -Psalm 22: 1-2
In fact these are the very words of Jesus as He hung on the cross. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? We need not fell guilty for such utterances, but we often do. This cry of the heart is an expression of the agony we can feel when life takes a hard and difficult turn; when it seems there is no end to our suffering; when we feel as if God is no longer near. We long to be restored, we long to be healed, we long for an end to our suffering. Yet the days drag on and it seems nothing changes. That is when I need to listen to the wisdom of God that comes from His word-When it seems my world is spinning out of control I cling to the knowledge that the Lord, reigns forever; His throne endures to all generations.
We talked about 1 Peter 4 in our Sunday School class this past Sunday-if you are suffering I encourage you to read it. A couple of things hit me as I read the passage. Verse 12 reminds us not to be surprised by suffering as though something strange was happening to us and to "keep on rejoicing"
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. (NASB)
What really caught my attention though, was verse 19, here is my hope, here is the answer to my lament:
Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
I entrust my soul to my faithful Creator-He will always do what is right. Oh, but I wish it were easier for that head knowledge to get firmly rooted in my heart. It is one thing to know this truth, quite another to live it out when I am hurting.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,