Something happens in our hearts when we walk through a lengthy trial. Scripture even says so:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
If we’re not careful, disappointment, self-pity, and discouragement can settle deep into our bones. I’ve noticed in my own life that without realizing it, I start to feel disappointed with God. I know He can deliver me. I just wonder why He won’t. Yet, we know that we’re not living out the end of the story quite yet. We’re in a difficult chapter, one that tests us and one that reveals what we really believe to be true about God. Is He faithful? Does He care?
If you’ve wondered such things, do know that you’re not alone. The Psalmist Asaph felt very much the same way. Read the whole chapter. Asaph blames God for his insomnia and for his distress, and he accuses God of things He’s not guilty of. We do the same thing when we misread our trials. Here’s a portion of Asaph’s rant (one I painfully relate to):
You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
I think of the good old days,
long since ended,
when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
It’s okay to get discouraged. But it’s essential that we not stay discouraged. Asaph wondered if his best days were behind him. Have you wondered as much? He assumed God had forgotten to act consistently with His nature, which is one of patience, love, compassion, and faithfulness.
But watch what happens next.
Asaph pivots. He turns on a dime.
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
When you don’t see God’s faithfulness in the present moment, remember His faithfulness in days past. He’s been good. And He’ll be good again! Read this whole chapter and notice how the more Asaph pondered God’s greatness, the more his perspective lifted to a place of faith and expectancy.
You can do this too. You can turn on a dime and tell your soul what’s true about God. The God who parted the sea is alive in you! He hasn’t forgotten where you live or looked away from your problems. When the time is right, He will deliver you. Right now, He’s looking for faith in you. He’s put it there. May your words, thoughts, and actions activate your faith in a way that changes your perspective and your day.
You have good reason to live with hopeful expectancy. You serve the God of the breakthrough.