“Why is this happening to me?”
Have you ever felt that way? The psalmist certainly did. What the background of this psalm is, is unclear. Apparently it was at a time when the people were trying to serve God, and yet found themselves being defeated by their enemies.
And basically they said, “We remember all the stories of how when we first came to Canaan that you were with us. All the nations here were driven out, not by our strength, but by yours, out of your great love for us.
“You’re our King. And like our ancestors, we put our trust in you, not in ourselves for our victory. You are the one we boast in. You are the one we praise.
“Why then, are you no longer with us? We go out to battle, but we fall. All those around us mock us, and we are disgraced.
“If we had turned our backs on you, if we had followed other gods, we could understand it. But we’ve done none of this. Why have you forsaken us? Why do you hide your face from us? Help us.”
In short, “Why is this happening to me? I’m trying to follow you. I haven’t turned my back on you? Why is my life falling apart?”
And no answer is given here. But there is a hope given in the book of Romans. In Romans, Paul quotes verse 22 of this psalm.
Yet for your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
And then he says,
In all these things (trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and even death) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
God never promises us as Christians that we’ll never have hardship. He never promises that we’ll never go through suffering. On the contrary, he guarantees it. (John 16:33; II Timothy 3:12)
But no matter what happens to us, God promises to bring us through. And nothing can or will separate us from his love.
That’s where our hope lies. So when you’re struggling, cry out to God as the psalmist did. But whether God seems near or not, whether he seems to be hearing you or not, cling to his promises. Our feelings constantly change. Namely, there are times when we feel God seems close and times when he doesn’t. But God and his promises never change.
So as Paul wrote in another passage,
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58)