Psalms of Honesty and Truth
It is easy to praise God when things are going well, when all the pieces fall into place, after a huge problems dissolve into resolutions, when troubling relationship are restored, when anxiousness and fear melt into peace.
But, let be honest…when it all falls apart, when the enemy seems to have the upper hand in every thing we attempt, when relationships are edgy, and life is hard and overwhelming…what do we say first or do first? Praise might not be the first thought. Like the psalmist, after a humiliating defeat along the way to victory, we might also cry out, “God, where are You? Why have you forsaken us?”
As I recall, even Jesus, who was God in a suffering human body cried out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” on His way to OUR victory from death to life through his work on that cross! It’s apparent that we can be honest before God. Cry out. Or just cry it out if you have to…I have. But then listen and wait. Don’t leave God. God certainly hasn’t’ left us.
Psalm 44, New Living Translation
For the choir director: A psalm[a] of the descendants of Korah.
1 O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
in days long ago:
2 You drove out the pagan nations by your power
and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
and set our ancestors free.
3 They did not conquer the land with their swords;
it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
for you loved them.
4 You are my King and my God.
You command victories for Israel.[b]
5 Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
only in your name can we trample our foes.
6 I do not trust in my bow;
I do not count on my sword to save me.
7 You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
you disgrace those who hate us.
8 O God, we give glory to you all day long
and constantly praise your name. Interlude
9 But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor.
You no longer lead our armies to battle.
10 You make us retreat from our enemies
and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
11 You have butchered us like sheep
and scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your precious people for a pittance,
making nothing on the sale.
13 You let our neighbors mock us.
We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us the butt of their jokes;
they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15 We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
shame is written across our faces.
16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
All we see are our vengeful enemies.
17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
We have not strayed from your path.
19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
You have covered us with darkness and death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
21 God would surely have known it,
for he knows the secrets of every heart.
22 But for your sake we are killed every day;
we are being slaughtered like sheep.
23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Get up! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you look the other way?
Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
25 We collapse in the dust,
lying face down in the dirt.
26 Rise up! Help us!
Ransom us because of your unfailing love.
This psalm begins with praise for God for what He has done in the past, asking why, then resolving to have faith in knowing He will save us. It’s interesting how the “song” moves quickly from boasting about God, feeling forsaken by Him, to questioning faith and back to trusting God. God knows our hearts. Let’s be honest in our prayers.
Dear Heavenly Father, No, things are going as well as what WE think they should but You see the bigger picture so we trust in You to always be there, listening to our praises and our honest cries for help. We trust in You to always love us and want the best for us, even if that is teaching us through harder times as well as the good times. Thank you, Lord for Your continued Holy Presence in our lives. I’m here. I’m listening for You…
In Jesus Name, Amen