By Mary Smith
Today's Scripture: Psalm 22:1-18
Central Thought: When you feel God is distant, concentrate on His power and presence.
If the words of this Psalm ring a bell, it is for good reason. Jesus quoted from it when He hung on the Cross (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Various New Testament Scriptures relate what this passage says to the Crucifixion. The passage not only describes the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, but it also provides us with guidelines for handling our own times when God seems to have moved far from us.
First, it teaches those who feel forsaken to pray (verses 1-2). Even though he expressed a doubt that he was getting any answer, David nonetheless prayed. Jesus did the same thing when He hung on the cross. Whether we feel close to God or horribly distant from Him, we must never forsake prayer. Talk to God about what you are facing and how you are feeling. If you feel that somehow you and He have become separated, tell Him about it. Walk through the dark days of life on your knees.
Next, this Psalm encourages those who feel forsaken to remember who God is and what He has done (verses 3-5). David professed his belief in God's holy nature—a wise thing to do when you find yourself up against life's difficulties. God is holy; if He were to forsake His troubled child, it would violate His character.
David also reminded himself of what God has done for others. They trusted God, prayed to Him, and found relief. When you are feeling isolated in your troubles, tour the Bible and look at what He has done for other troubled people. Remind yourself that 'what He's done for others He'll do for you.”
Finally, consider God's past involvement in your life (verses 9-11). David went all the way back to his birth to recall how involved the Lord had been in his life. Do the same when you find yourself in trouble. Do it with the understanding that His consistent character will demand that He involve himself in your troubles now.
God does not forsake His children. Feelings may tell you He is absent in your trauma. But His presence, past works, and continual involvement in your life say otherwise.
Devotional Prayer: Thank You for Your continuing presence in my circumstances and life. Help me to keep these principles in mind when I face life's storms and feel forsaken.
Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21; Romans 11:13-36; Psalm 22:1-18; Proverbs 20:7