Friday, January 14, 2011

5 questions for God

Ever since my conversion to Christ I have deeply loved the Psalms. The Psalms are honest, very human, and resonates with my changing emotions. By far, my love for the Psalms comes from the Psalmist's serious engagement with God. The Psalmist wants every human being to know and love God, whose spotless moral purity, magnificent power and wisdom, steadfast faithfulness and unceasing love are evident in beauty for all to see.

But there are times when the Psalmist finds God to be a mystery; there are times when God's ways do not make sense. Psalm 13 is a personal lament; the writer is on the verge of despair because his prayers are not being answered. So he poses 5 rapid fire questions to God:
1. How long, O Lord?
2. Will you forget me forever?
3. How long will you hide your face from me?
4. How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
5. How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

He had the temerity to say, "God, what is going on? How long are you going to allow these life-draining events to continue in my life?" God did not strike him to the ground; there was no vengeful reaction from the heavens.

This is what an authentic relationship to God looks like. God is glorious and great and can handle our hurts, pains, doubts, and even anger. The believer's relationship to God is undermined when he tries to mask his emotions and portray a false sense of being in control, or by acting as if everything is OK.

In life things are often far from OK. Yet, life's hardships should not necessarily stifle one's need to pray to the Lord. Even though God seemed delayed in answering his prayers, and he is clearly distressed, he continues to pray!
In 13: 3-4, he pleads with God for an answer and for relief
In 13:5-6, he rests in the confidence of God to ultimately care for him even though life is less than ideal. Notice his resolve: I have trusted; my heart shall rejoice, I will sing because God has dealt bountifully with me.

In an authentic relationship with Jesus, we must be honest with God and yet still walk by faith in the ultimate goodness of God.
Question: How do you live with your questions/disappointments and still retain faith in the Lord?

Read through the bible in 2011
Psalm 13: 1-6
Genesis 14: 1-24
I Chronicles 14: 1-17
Luke 8: 22-56