When Darkness Hides God’s Face…and all hope

Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:

 1   My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? I have cried desperately for help, but still it does not come. 2  During the day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer; I call at night, but get no rest.  Psalm 22:1-2 (TEV)

 “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay. ” (1)

There are days when I could be easily convinced that our present time is more oppressed than any other time in history.  The traumas and tragedies just seem to keep coming, the days and week just seem to bring more people, dealing with more pain.  It doesn’t matter whether the trauma is natural (i.e. getting older, physical or mental illness) or self-inflicted, or the oppression caused by another. (the latter two relate to the damage of sin and narcissism/self idolatry) The trauma exists, the pain is real, the tears and groans all too.. overwhelming.

If I look at the hymns of the past – whether the Psalms in Old Testament times such as Psalm 22, or hymns across the ages, I find the same weariness, the same brokenness, the same tears, the same despair.

And the same answer.

A God whom those who cry out to in despair, find themselves worshipping, praising, adoring, as they find rest, peace, and yes healing in God.  I am not saying these battles are easy, or quick, for they never area.  But the darkness that seems to hide God’s face, the overwhelming flood that seeks to destroy us, will not stand against God.  It can’t, anymore than the gates of hell can hold against Christ’s incarnation.  Even though there are days where it may feel like we cannot go on, it is God’s love that will sustain us.

For God has not hid himself, He always will be there, for He promised to, and His presence will sustain us.

The Psalm quoted above finds the one who questioned God’s presence finding resolution and finding God’s presence.  Here is where the Psalm ends:

22  I will tell my people what you have done; I will praise you in their assembly: 23  “Praise him, you servants of the LORD! Honor him, you descendants of Jacob! Worship him, you people of Israel! 24  He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering; he does not turn away from them, but answers when they call for help.” 25  In the full assembly I will praise you for what you have done; in the presence of those who worship you I will offer the sacrifices I promised. 26  The poor will eat as much as they want; those who come to the LORD will praise him. May they prosper forever! 27  All nations will remember the LORD. From every part of the world they will turn to him; all races will worship him. 28  The LORD is king, and he rules the nations. 29  All proud people will bow down to him; all mortals will bow down before him. 30  Future generations will serve him; they will speak of the Lord to the coming generation. 31  People not yet born will be told: “The Lord saved his people.”  Psalm 22:22-31 (TEV)

Likewise – rejoicing in the work of Christ, the hymn resolves,

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

May you find His faithfulness, His righteousness, His peace sustaining you this morning.. for it is there – and it always has been.

God’s peace is yours – because He has born our sorrows, our griefs, our sins, as He walks with us. For that is how Jesus, who was crucified for you, ministers to you as you journey with Him.

English: Icon of Jesus Christ

English: Icon of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even on Mondays.

 

(1)  2nd and 3rd verses of “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on April 8, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: