In times of trouble and distress people reach upward and outward toward God. As our hearts reach out to Him, they usually resound this theme: “Where are you, God?” We are no different today than in any other time. Listen to this psalm of the sons of Korah, referred to as a “contemplation.”
Psalms 42:3 NKJV My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”
In times of sorrow our initial thought is usually “Where is God? Where is the Comforter? Where is the Prince of Peace?” I wonder why we choose to say, “Where is God?” instead of saying “I need my God!” If you choose to ask “where” instead of saying “I need” then there is a disconnect in your heart that needs to be rerouted and reconnected to truth. We do not desire to be like the people Jesus spoke to in John 4:48 who only believed when they saw a sign or miracle, but rather, we desire to worship in the spirit and in truth (John 4:24). To run from God during trouble because we believe He either has ignored us, is unwilling to intervene for us, or worse yet, is the author of our trouble, will send us away from God when we should be running toward God.
Trouble comes in many varieties. We harm ourselves through sinful acts, evil desires, hurtful words and the like. When we reap what we sow it is a bitter pill to swallow indeed. Other times we are harmed by the evil deeds, thoughts, acts and words of others. These are equally as bitter because we do not understand what we did to deserve such harm. In either case, where do we turn for help? Justice? Revenge? Anger? Fear? Denial? Disillusionment? Rage? Perhaps you have tried some of these, or all of them! Did they quench the deepest need in your life? No.
God is the source of all comfort in three persons. The Father is our Father of all mercies and God of all Comfort (2 Cor. 1:3), Jesus is our promised healing (Isaiah 53:5), and the Holy Spirit is our Comforter (John 14:26). Since God is reaching out to us in these incredible ways, why do we not run to Him in prayer when trouble comes? We are resistant because we either cannot face our own responsibility for what we’ve done or we cannot face forgiving others for what they’ve done. In prayer, we are in the presence of pure love which is never demanding, never full of rage, never bitter, never vengeful, never fearful, never disillusioned. In prayer, we are in the presence of Love that calls us to repent and turn from our ways which have harmed us, and to forgive our fellow brother or sister who has harmed us in return. In prayer, we are in the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who want all sinners (including the one who hurt us) to come into the cleansing flood of the blood of Christ. In praying, we simply cannot hang onto our junk. We must lay it down. God is so loving and knows this is what we need more than anything. True comfort comes from praying.
Are you in trouble, pray. Have you offended a brother or sister, pray. Have you been hurt by someone’s words or actions, pray. Are you angry, bitter, enraged, jealous, hurt, and/or grieved, pray. Prayer is the place where, in conversation with God, our hurts become open to healing. There is no other place where that can happen. Healing is true comfort. No other emotional or earthly solution heals, only the presence of the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can comfort. Do you need comfort today? Pray.