Experiencing the Joy of the Lord in our Dark Times.
As Christians, one thing that strengthens us the most is the fact that God is in control. However, what most Christians long for are signs that show God is in control. There is a real difficulty when we see nothing or hear nothing from God for a long time especially when we need God the most. There are times when Christians do not even feel worthy enough to approach God for help because our ways are wicked.
In Psalms chapter 9, we read how David drew his strength from the revelation of what God had done for him in the past. Similarly, from the revelation that we receive from God is enough to have the joy of God. We need to draw our strength from our experiences we have had with God.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
Psalms 9:1 ESV
We know that Moses met God at the burning bush. Moses had to go through difficult times before he met God. We can say that it was through life experiences that Moses met God. We can also say that it is our life experiences how we have true knowledge of God.
And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Exodus 3:6 ESV
The same can be said for Hagar. She left because she had betrayed and wronged her mistress, Sarah. Yet, God sought Hagar out to protect her. Hagar experienced God during the difficult times, and she was blessed by God.
And he said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai." The angel of the Lord said to her, "Return to your mistress and submit to her." The angel of the Lord also said to her, "I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude."
Genesis 16:8-10 ESV
When times are dark we need strength and there are a few things we can do to get this strength from God.
1. Look at the times you have experienced God and how God has rescued you or comforted you. This way an inner revelation is established, and we will have a confidence in God. What God has done once, He will do again.
2. We need to find people that we can trust and talk about our problems. They can help you pray and help you remember what God has done in the past.
3. We need to speak the word of God. The word of God is life and will give us the peace of the Lord.
4. Don’t blame other people for your difficulties, but understand God is working on your life.
King David was on the run from his enemies and Absalom, King David's son, is trying to take over his kingdom. David understands that he is not a perfect person or worthy, yet God had given so much to David. It is this understanding that David holds onto to get him through the difficult time he was experiencing when he wrote this psalm.
For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
Psalms 9:4-5 ESV
David understands that this is not the time blame other people but accept that God is working in his life. God has been exceptionally generous and merciful with us, too. Let us encourage one another and be thankful for the work that God continues to do in our lives.