Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 20, 2017
By Tripp Prince
Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Psalm 143:1
Often when we pray, “Lord, hear my prayer,” in our hearts what we really mean is “Lord, fix this problem now!” or “Make this pain go away!” We are uncomfortable with pain and sorrow and in prayer seek to be immediately freed from all that is broken or wrong in our world. Yet in our rush to be free of our pain, we often forget a foundational truth about the Christian life: being loved by Jesus does not mean that we are exempt from pain and suffering.
We should never see the trials in our lives as the way the world is meant to be. The Lord Jesus came to heal every sickness, to right every wrong, and to conquer death with his own life. Likewise, we should never trivialize our pain or the pain of those we love. Faithfulness to Christ doesn’t mean to simply “smile and put on a happy face,” pretending nothing is wrong. We must be able to see the brokenness in our lives for what it is, brokenness that Jesus promises to mend and restore.
Jesus conquers sin and death by passing through the heart of brokenness, not by working his way around it. And as we follow him as his disciples, we must realize that our journey will look similar.
The Psalmist prays for the Lord to hear their prayer “in faithfulness and righteousness.” This is the way we must also pray. Lord hear my prayer, not as I assume or even would want you to respond, but in your goodness and love which is beyond anything I can imagine or even begin to understand.
In order to pray these kinds of prayers, we must trust that Jesus loves us and always responds in ways that are for our good and God’s glory. Pain and suffering is never an end in and of itself. We are not led to times of trial as a final destination, yet through them we are brought close to Jesus and learn from him what it means to take up our cross and follow him.
The Lord is faithful and eager to respond to the prayers of the saints. Yet as we persist in our prayers, we must remember that he isn’t a magic genie in a bottle that responds immediately to anything we ask or request. We instead hear afresh today, “Do you trust me?” God will always come to our relief when we cry out to him, it just may come in surprising and unforeseen ways!
PrayerFather, teach us to trust you in every aspect of our lives, believing that you are with us and will never forsake us. Amen.
ApplicationWhat situation in your life causes you to struggle or doubt God’s faithfulness to you? Bring those fears and concerns to him in prayer today.
Related ReadingProverbs 16:20; Matthew 6:8; Hebrews 2:13
Post/Tweet todayBeing loved by Jesus does not mean that we are exempt from pain and suffering. #WisdomHunters #hearmyprayer
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