Whenever something is repeated many times, it’s usually worth of paying attention to the matter. Today I found the same verse repeated four times in one psalm. Time to pay attention. What could be so important? Could it have anything to do with my life?
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
(Psalm 107:8/15/21/31, NIV)
Thanksgiving is so important.
God’s love is so magnificent.
God’s care is so wonderful.
I get that. This message is worth of declaring over and over again. What was going on before each call for thanksgiving?
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
(Psalm 107:6/13/19/28, NIV)
Each time the people of God had been in some sort of trouble and cried to the Lord for help. Each time God had come through and delivered his people from their troubles. So there had been reason for thanksgiving and praise for sure.
The psalm 107 celebrates rescue from four different kind of troubles: the desert, prison, sickness and the stormy sea. At first you’d think we don’t have much in common with these troubles but when you think about it you realize they’re all very common problems also in today’s world. Let’s see them one by one.
1) Life without God is like living in a desert. When we are living in a desert the elements of a good life are limited. But when we allow the Spirit of God rain on us, new life and growth is possible. We can’t make our lives flourish but God can. We can’t force ourselves to be fully alive. But the rain of grace changes everything.
2) Some people think that if they live in a free country where they can do whatever they want they are free. But they do not see the invisible web of bondage. They insist that they are not slaves of Hollywood or Madison Avenue. Or public opinion or money or security. But they are. We all are without Christ. A dead-end, prison-like life is all we can expect without grace. But God offers us so much more.
3) Bringing bewilderment to God (and all kind of questions and feelings) will bring us even closer to him. Because God wants us to be honest with him. God wants to live intimately with us, to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.
4) Do you dare to hope when there’s no reason to hope? Do you dare to hope when your life as you’ve known it has been taken over by a razing storm? Do you dare to hope when life has become bitterness and poison?
I hope so. Because God hears your cries and he will deliver you from your distress. Not necessarily the way you’d like it to go. Not necessarily as fast as you would like it to happen. But God will be with you through your ordeal and he will bring you peace in the midst of your hardships. And you will eventually be lead from distress to deliverance.
Just remember to cry to the Lord and give thanks to the Lord. Even before you are delivered from your distress. Because God is actively working in your life even when you can’t see it. Praising God while still in darkness will bless you even more. And somehow it seems time goes faster that way. Or, at least, more joyfully.
Thank you for repeating
your invitation to come to you
as many times as we need it.
Thank you for loving us
more than we can understand.
Thank you for wanting good things for us.
Thank you for hearing our cries for help.
Thank you for delivering us from our troubles.
Fill us with hope, peace, and joy
while we are waiting for you.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Have you experienced deliverance from your troubles?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you cry for the Lord and praise Him while waiting for deliverance from your troubles!