Psalm 44

We have heard it with our ears, O God;
our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
in days long ago.
With your hand you drove out the nations
and planted our ancestors;
you crushed the peoples
and made our ancestors flourish.
It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.
You are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for Jacob.
Through you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.
I put no trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever.
But now you have rejected and humbled us;
you no longer go out with our armies.
You made us retreat before the enemy,
and our adversaries have plundered us.
You gave us up to be devoured like sheep
and have scattered us among the nations.
You sold your people for a pittance,
gaining nothing from their sale.
You have made us a reproach to our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the nations;
the peoples shake their heads at us.
I live in disgrace all day long,
and my face is covered with shame
at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me,
because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.
All this came upon us,
though we had not forgotten you;
we had not been false to your covenant.
Our hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.
But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals;
you covered us over with deep darkness.
If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
would not God have discovered it,
since he knows the secrets of the heart?
Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?
We are brought down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up and help us;
rescue us because of your unfailing love.

Psalm 44 is attributed to the sons of Korah, who were a group of Levites appointed to be temple singers during the reign of King David. They begin with a declaration of how God’s people had relied on him to conquer their enemies and how he had delivered them. However, his people were now experiencing defeat and oppression despite their faithfulness to him. The psalmists express confusion and desperation, wondering why God has allowed them to suffer and why he seems to have abandoned them.

Do you ever wonder the same thing? There is not a single person among us who hasn’t struggled with a major calamity in life. It may have been a severe illness that left us bedridden for weeks. It may have been a broken relationship that shattered our hearts to pieces. It may have been an addiction that we couldn’t break. It may have been the loss of somebody very dear that caused us immense sorrow. It could have been one of a hundred things. We might have asked the question we often ask in such a situation, “Why me, Lord?”

There are several reasons why God lets us go through struggles, but Paul has one that we need to pay attention to because we often overlook it. He wrote: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

God never leaves our side in our difficulties (even if we sometimes imagine he does!), and he takes us through them, leaving us wiser and stronger. Hopefully, we are grateful to God for this, but it isn’t enough to be merely thankful for the comfort, healing, and other blessings we have received. We need to extend it to others.

Our assistance or advice is far more effective because of the experiential knowledge we possess. We know what the other person is going through because we have gone through the same pain or loss or struggle ourselves. And those being assisted will appreciate our help because they know we really understand. It will also help us get through whatever we may be going through because now we understand that God is putting us in a unique position to help others.

Let us, therefore, continue to turn to God in prayer and faith, knowing he is with us and will make good come out of our situations.

God bless you.

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