What’s Up With That, God?

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Encouragement, Faith, Prayer, Trials, Trusting God 13 Comments

Not gonna lie, sometimes life gets really hard. At times our battles are an intense, invisible boxing match, and the enemy seems to not only make contact on every upper cut but also win every round. There are seasons when we feel defeated, wounded, abandoned, vulnerable, frustrated and forgotten. The psalmists felt this way sometimes too.

“You make us a joke among the nations,
a laughingstock among the peoples.
My disgrace is before me all day long,
and shame has covered my face,
because of the taunts of the scorner and reviler,
because of the enemy and avenger.

All this has happened to us,
but we have not forgotten you
or betrayed your covenant.
Our hearts have not turned back;
our steps have not strayed from your path.”

(Psalm 44:14-18, CSB)

The Sons of Korah wrote Psalm 44 from a hard place, to say the least.

They’d gone round after round and felt beat up.

They wanted to know why God was allowing their enemies to crush them in light of the fact that they were actually faithful and obedient to Him. Essentially shrugging their shoulders to heaven and saying, What’s up with that, God? We’re Your people – fully committed to You – aware of Your power and love, grateful for the ways You’ve knocked our enemies out in the past. C’mon, now! Can we get a little help down here?  

Let’s be honest here, sometimes it can feel like God is sleeping. Snoozing off as we scream for help. It can seem like He’s casual about our suffering. As if He’s talking to someone more important at the boxing match, clueless as to the bruises that ache and the bleeding cuts that sting.

But just because it FEELS this way doesn’t make it true.

You know it. I know it. The psalmists knew it.

God is always faithful, always able to step in and stop the swinging and always loving… even if He chooses to allow the fight to go on.

Why though?

Why does He sometimes allow such brutal seasons?

Why does He allow His own children to go through hardship and experience loss?

I don’t know for sure, but perhaps to grow our faith and deepen our awareness of how much we truly need Him.

I take heart, confident in this: when life hits hard and knocks us down, we’re better positioned for battle as our knees hit the ground.

 

Heavenly Father,
I’m grateful for Your unfailing love that stands fixed between me and every attack, wound and blow that comes my way. You know the secrets of my heart and the struggles that hit hard. You are the source of victory I’m desperate for. I’m exhausted from the battle, Lord. Please rise up in my defense, remember and renew me.
I ask this in the Name of Jesus… the Name that has full authority to push back every enemy and trample every foe.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE:

Read Colossians 4:2. What three directives did Paul give to the church?

What are a few ways you could implement these directives today to inform any areas of your heart that are discouraged? Grab your journal and write a prayer response, or tell me on Instagram or on the wall of my blog.

LOVE you guys!

GWEN

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Comments 13

  1. Hi Gwen,

    I have felt abandoned and unheated for years! I’m dealing with so much physical pain and issues, it cannot be coincidence, but of the enemy! I cry into God throughout the day; everyday! I pray the answer comes soon!
    Paul reminded us in Colossians 4:2, to continue in prayer, watch in the same, and be thankful.
    I must admit, I’m not thankful for this suffering!
    Please keep me in prayer, not only for health, but to hear from God.

  2. “2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;”
    ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭(NKJV‬‬)

    As disciples of Christ we must “pray without ceasing” (II Thessalonians 5:17)!
    We must also ask The Holy Spirit to help us stay vigilant (keep careful watch) in our prayers. In the Greek vigilant is derived from the word grēgoreúō – literally, “stay awake”; (figuratively) be vigilant (responsible, watchful)- (Strong’s Concordance).
    We also need to start our prayers with thankful hearts and pepper our prayers with thankful expressions. And to end our prayers with grateful praise to our Lord! Hallelu Yah!
    Amen

    “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
    Hebrews 13:15 (NJKV)

  3. I needed this post today. I have an adult daughter with special needs who still lives with my husband and I. Today I had a lunch scheduled with a friend while my daughter was to be out with her staff. Well, her staff canceled and so my lunch date was canceled for the 2nd time in a row because of staff issues. It is hard to not get disheartened with the load I bear, but God is good. His timing is perfect. I have learned through many struggles on this parenting road to let go and let God. I still need reminders when there is a bump in road to pray to God to change my heart and my attitude when things don’t go the way I planned. He has been working on me and still has a way to go, but I am much farther down the road because of HIS work in me. Thanks for the encouragement. 😀

  4. Thank you for the devotion this morning. In this fast paced world with everything going on in our every day lives at times especially during the tough times, we think God is not there for us. God is always there for us in any circumstance. We just need to always pray, and be thankful for everything that God has done for us and gives us. I am blessed beyond measure.

    1. Thank you all for this devotion! I too see such a fast paced world and time that we live here. The time for me to prayer more and to not let my health be run down! Peace can come to me When I call it! I taught myself to stop at any depressed time and refocus. Thanking God for being in my heart always and freedom to worship.

  5. This devotional could not have come at a better time in my life. Thank you for your encouragement to keep praying, stay watchful and be thankful. I will continue through this battle knowing there will be victory at the other end.

  6. Some mornings I feel defeated before I have prepared myself properly. I do a morning devotional, reading or begin my day in prayer. Seeking that quiet place where God is apparent everywhere I look is my “go to” place, the pasture where the horses are quietly eating and I am waiting for one of my pups to finish his business. If I don’t get to that place before the day begins I feel defeated, upended and lost in my world of a husband and father with dementia. Those are the days I hang on by my fingernails and pray that I don’t say or do anything that is hurtful because my spirit isn’t ready to face the day. Thank you for the reading this morning, it is helping me prepare for this day, a day filled with love and challenges.

  7. I read Colossians 4:2 today as you directed. I am trying to show friendliness to my new stepchildren, and meeting some resistance. I’m not reaching out frequently, but consistently, as their dad has urged me to do. Their mother died 8 years ago and I married their dad nearly a year ago. There are 5 of them, and I have 4 of my own. I see my motherhood, and now my stepmotherhood, as a precious calling from God. I’m praying for courage, for wisdom, and for sensitivity in reaching out to my new family. I’m paying attention with vigilance to what each individual needs. And I’m giving thanks to God for the privilege of being His extension to them and of learning new lessons in perseverance and courage. My husband’s children—the resistant ones—are not Christians (yet). Thank you for your devotional this morning.

  8. Read Colossians 4:2. What three directives did Paul give to the church?
    Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
    First thing in the morning after I wash my mouth, I go and get ready to devote myself to the Lord, to be honesty I cannot start my day without seeking Him and give Him thanks for a new morning . I seek Him through His Word to give me my daily bread, and always thanking Him in the good and in the bad situation.
    Have a blessed week Gwen

  9. This is the perfect reminder to cast our cares on our God! Things at work are very difficult and challenging, but GOD’S WORD tells me that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) and I am more than a conqueror through HIM that loved me (Romans 8:37).

    1. Thank you so much for the reading today. In this political world of ours, it seems we as Christians are fighting a daily battle of untruths, racism, and the “who is better than who” syndrome. Those who chastise and speak untruths, we need to pray for God’s guidance to take away the evil that exists in their lives, and also pray to our Lord and Savior to give us understanding to know that HE is in charge and our patience and constant prayers are required. Blessings to all for a wonderful day!!!

  10. Beautiful reminder this morning and reference to Colossians 4:2, in that as Christians, are to pray in earnest and intent to God. Also, to pray with a thankful heart, knowing that God has all person’sbest interestbst heart. We are to be vigilant in our prayer life and be on the lookout for answers to our prayers. I believe if we have a grateful heart daily; an individual takes note more readily to see what God is doing in our lives, those lives around us and the prayers direct our paths.

    Thank you, Gwen for helping your readers like myself, to stand ready and prepared each day by gently reminding us to spend time with God in prayer, meditation and reading Hus Holy Word. Without these three steps, a person’s life can get chaotic and stress-filled before it hits us hard. We can rest in Him, knowing if we do our part in communicating with our Lord daily; that He will sustains in good times and in the valleys.

  11. Dear God,

    You are there I know, strengthen my knowing into trusting fully. May you put the words in my mouth that need to be there for others and yes may those words be full of grace. God you are my amazing Rock help me, to continue to follow you and your path for me so I may be Your light for others. In Jesus name. Amen

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