Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Longing, but for What? - Solace from the Psalms - Martin Wiles

For thousands of years, people have found comfort in the Psalms. No matter what emotion you are experiencing or fight you're facing, the psalms have something important to say. For the next little while, Love Lines from God will feature, "Solace from the Psalms." We hope you enjoy. And please share them with a friend. 

I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Psalm 42:2 NLT

Imagine trudging through the desert, depleted of water and food. Suddenly, an oasis of palm trees encircling a pool of fresh cold water appears. Your pace quickens. You finally reach the pool and lunge in only to be welcomed by a bed of hot sand.

Most thirst is not what a genuinely thirsty person experiences. Their mouth is parched and their lips cracked. Anxiety is heightened. Prolonged water deprivation is deadly.

God has created in humans a longing for spiritual nourishment, parroting our physical need for fluids. Nothing short of a relationship with Him satisfies (Romans 1:21-25).

The psalmist illustrates this need by referencing a deer panting for water, then confesses he is experiencing such a thirst: Adversity intensified his thirst and prevented its satisfaction. He was discouraged, sad, and forsaken by God—or so it appeared.

Some life events can be devastating: divorce, job loss, financial ruin, natural disasters, faltering health. Then we get thirsty, discouraged, or even depressed. We look for something to fill the void, but discover some things satisfy while others don’t. 
Prayer, Bible study, and relationships with other believers are acceptable ways to satisfy our longings. These and other spiritual disciplines soothe our craving to know more about Christ and help us enter a deeper relationship with Him.

The psalmist’s hope must be ours. Otherwise, we long for things that destroy health and emotional well-being: addictive substances, unhealthy relationships. God controls the circumstances, but we control our response. Only He can lift our veils of despair, enabling us to see events through His lenses.
God never forgets us, even though we may feel He has. 

Opposition, adversity, discouragement, and roller coaster emotions can intensify feelings but don’t change the reality of God’s continual involvement in our life’s details. 

Beware of looking in the wrong places to satisfy your thirst.

Prayer: Lord, when we’re tempted to trust in other things besides You, remind us where genuine fulfillment is found.

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