Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 28, 2011
“ I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me”. Psalm 120:1
Some people die a thousand deaths of distress, as it highjacks their hope. It may be the material distress of overwhelming financial pressures. It may be physical distress of a body that is accelerating down a path of pain and disease. Relational distress can be traumatic and dramatic, as couples feel confined to a crazy cycle of confusing cynicism. The rough edge of a cruel tongue can sting and sabotage your quiet confidence.
So what are the next steps when you, or someone you love is drowning in distress? Some people want to discuss their distress and accept help willingly. Others struggle to preserve their independence and behave, at least outwardly, as if nothing is wrong. Distress can define you with a humble dependency on God, or it can drive you into a shell of self-pity, that ignores Him and others. It is a facilitation of faith that provides the best benefits.
“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
Therefore, learn to lean on the Lord during lean times. Go to God first when you are unfairly treated and abused. Wisdom appeals to the Almighty in prayer for insulters, instead of insulting back in prayerless reactions. Critical cries to people undermine your character, while compassionate cries to Christ embolden your soul. A child flees first to their father or mother when they are in need of comfort, love and forgiveness.
So, your heavenly Father is poised and prepared for your passionate petitions. Prayer to Him is rewarding and profitable, as He will not hear the lie against you, but He will hear your prayer against the lie. His Holy Spirit assures you that He hears, and He cares. He is attentive to every detail of your distress, so rest in His reassurance and your soul will settle down. Above all else, use distress to enjoy your dependency on God.
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat…” (Isaiah 25:4a).
How does distress define me? How do the Lord’s answers reassure me?
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