Sad but Stubborn: Why?

“By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’ ” (Psalm 42:8-9)

There’s something heartbreaking about these two verses together. The writer – in deep despair – still stubbornly refuses to allow his sadness over his circumstances to turn him against God.

sad_350Just the opposite: He admits that God loves him. He sings his prayerful night song to the “God of my life.” Instead of shaking an angry fist at God, he is trusting, almost sweetly submissive in his attitude.

But that doesn’t keep him from asking God the hard questions: “God, my Rock, why have you forgotten me? Why is the enemy winning? Why must I feel this way?”

I believe this is exactly the right response to God during the worst times of our life. Sadness with stubborn trust. Praise with brutally honest questions. Seeking comfort while being honest from your gut. Respect. Sincere prayer. And the determined choice to keep trusting even when the answers don’t come right away.

Think: Which is harder for you when life is hard – to keep your heart soft and close to God or to ask him your hardest “why” questions? Is it possible to ask God “why” while still being convinced that he is acting in love for you?

Pray: Ask God to help you not to harden your heart toward him when life is hard, but also to be honest with him about what’s hard about life while trusting him with the outcome.

Do: Read what Paul wrote in Romans 8:31-39 to Christians about what God is doing for us and feeling about us while we’re going through hard times.