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Promises in the Darkness

Praying with this psalm, we might identify with the despairing anguished ‘why.’  Much around us seems dark and worthy of despair that becoming downcast can pull at us.  Yet the second sentence encourages us to wait – stay in anticipation of our God.  Our future is guaranteed by our personal relationship with God.  Because He is our God, He has plans for us.  Most times, it is necessary to wait for these plans to bear fruit.  What we believe in our heart is more powerful that what we see.  Can we confidently wait and continue our hope in the Lord despite our weariness?

Bleak as things are faith and hope encompass us. Hope is the happy anticipation that something good is going to happen. “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagle’s wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31.) What we focus on is what gains the strength.  Keeping our eyes on hope will hold us throughout, not just our tough caretaking duties, but despite all outside influences.  It does not eliminate the circumstances that cause us to feel overwhelmed, but we do not have to live overwhelmed, as we are aware of the Lord.  “Cast all your worries upon Him because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7.)

Jesus promised His disciples in John 16:20 that ‘Your grief will become joy.’  He understood their distress and used that moment to prepare them for the grief that would overtake them upon His death.  He did not gloss over their grief.  He knew it is a natural part of loss and promised that it would subside.  “Soyou also are now in anguish.  But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” (John 16:22.) These words speak to our pain too.  Godknows that our feelings of grief and loss can be intense.  Let us look forward to being enveloped in consolation and mercy,living in hope for the day our present sorrow turns to joy.

As caregiver’s discouragement can easily assault and destroy our hope.  Even in the darkness of fear and disappointment, God pledges His presence and guarantees His lifelong commitment to be with us regardless of difficult or uncertain times.  “I command you be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9.)  There are so many promises God has made – I will be with you; I will protect you; I will be your strength; I will answer you; I will provide for you; I will give you peace; I will always love you.  These are just a few.  Through our groans and pleas, we can count on the Lord to carry us with mercy, compassion and more.  Will you trust God’s love to focus not on the problems, but on His promises?

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