August 21

Psalms 102, 120, 137; Lamentation 1-2

There is a lot of heartache in these verses we read today. They may have been written after the fall of Jerusalem but I imagine if you have experienced loss or hardships you relate to at least some of what the writers are saying. I know I did.

Have you ever felt God is out to get you? The writer of Lamentations said, “The Lord is like an enemy.” (2:5) How can that even be? Isn’t he the God of love and the giver of good things?

We aren’t fighting the flesh and blood battles Lamentations is talking about. But we can be battling wars as devastating. Depression, unfair treatment, alcoholism, pornography, self-pity. You can add your battle to the list.

And in the midst of that battle we might feel like God is leading the attack. 

Here’s what I believe is true according to Scripture. God created us with the ability to choose. And he wants us to choose him. But if we don’t, he “gives us over” to our choices. And he allows consequences to occur with the purpose of driving us to him.

That’s where he might seem like the enemy. 

We may be suffering because of our own choices or because of the choices of someone else. We may be even suffering because of the simple fact we live in a fallen world. I have a dear friend whose new-born granddaughter is experiencing some serious physical problems. I don’t believe that precious one’s illness is a punishment. But it is a circumstance God can – and wants- to use to draw that family, those friends, and hospital staff, to him.

But if sin is at the root of our battle today, I pray each of us will allow the circumstances do what God intends for them to do – cause us to repent and open the doors to fellowship with him.

I am reminded that God is zealous about your soul. And about mine. He will use any and all means to get our attention. He’s not the enemy. In fact, he wants to be on your side to fight the enemy. 

If your heart is broken today, I pray you will take inventory. If you recognize sin that needs to be confessed, do it. Ask God to forgive you. Trust him. Allow him to fill you with his Presence and give you hope and peace.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

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