Updated: Nov 30, 2020
One of the hardest things for me to wrap my mind around sometimes are the words written in 2 Peter 3:8 “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” It reminds me that the way we view time is not how the Lord views time. When I am struggling, I long for it to go by quickly. But often, the Lord lets me sit in it for longer. His timing, is not my timing.
Since some days feel longer than others, we may need to preach the Word of God to ourselves because our hearts are prone to doubt.
I love the way the Psalmist demonstrates this process in this stanza.
He begins by saying, “My soul faints for Your salvation,
But I hope in Your word.”
Fainting can be described as a loss of strength; a collapse. His soul seems to feel incredibly weak and void of strength. Yet still, He hopes in the Word.
In our Christian lives, we will not be a stranger to feeling faint. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul writes, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Yet, despite what we face, we have this same Spirit of Faith. (2 Corinthians 4:13). I love how it is written is Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
The Psalmist goes on to write:
“My eyes fail from searching Your word,
Saying, when will you comfort me?”
He eyes are tired from searching the Word for comfort. He wants immediate comfort. Have you ever felt like this? I know I have. I think when this happens, if we are not careful, the devil can discourage us. But if we are cautious and admit our struggle, grace is able to step in and pull us closer. The grace shows itself through a timely word from a sister in Christ or loved one. For example, I remember this happening to me during my journey with cancer I have told you all about. I was really struggling with pain and discouragement and having a hard time finding comfort in the Word. I admitted my weakness to my husband and that is when he was able to step in, carry my burden with me, and pour into me by reminding me of the Words written in Scripture. He specifically reminded me of, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22).”
As a believer, I am not promised a life free of trials. I know a time is going to come when I feel this way again in the future because there are so many different seasons in this life. This is why I am so thankful for this group because I know when I cannot bring myself to open my weary eyes and search the scriptures for comfort, there are women in here who I can trust to pour His words into me and pray for me when I need it most. I am thankful to be able to reach out to God in obedient faith and know that He will always provide comfort.
Next he writes, “For I have become like a wineskin in smoke
Yet I do not forget Your statutes.”
In ancient times, a wineskin was a drinking container made from animal skin. It was hung near a fire to absorb the smoke and become hardened in order to drink out of. But when a wineskin was in the smoke for too long, it had the potential to become dried up, cracked, and useless.
Do you ever feel dried up and useless? Or feel on the verge of cracking from absorbing too much smoke from your trials? I don’t know about you, but I have! I actually wrote a blog about this not too long ago: to check that out click here.
It is important to remember that even when our souls feel dry, as though we could crack into a million pieces, Christ provides an endless supply of spiritual nourishment. I am reminded of the words written in Jeremiah 17:7-8,
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Taking time to ensure our roots are planted in firm ground is vital because spiritually dry seasons will come. If we take time to prepare, we will remain replenished. This replenishment happens because we have taken time to prepare, dig our roots in deep, and guard our hearts. This helps us with anxiety because we know the season will not last.
Next the Psalmist writes, “How many are the days of Your servant?
When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?”
I think it is important to notice that instead of complaining about God, the Psalmist is complaining to God. He is longing for the days of affliction to end, but he keeps his conversation on questioning God, not talking bad about Him. As Christians we can complain to God in prayer and know that we will eventually be comforted. I love the words written, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Luke 18:6-7. Some days will feel longer when we are afflicted but we must remember justice will be served for those who belong to the Lord. Not on our time tables, but on His.
He continues on and writes:
The proud have dug pits for me,
Which is not according to Your law.
Back in the day, men would hunt wild animals by digging pits for them to fall into. Not only was the Psalmist facing persecution, but his enemies were hunting him like they would an animal. Despite this however, he remains hopeful. No pit is too deep for our Lord because His commandments are faithful:
We see this as he goes on to say,
All Your commandments are faithful
They persecute me wrongfully; Help me!
“Help, me.” Two words that are so powerful, yet so hard to mumble. This is such a fitting prayer for us sisters. Young or old, no matter what we are going through, we all have the ability to cry out, “Help, me Lord.” It is so important to remember no other help is sufficient like God’s. His help is all-sufficient.
The Psalmist continues on and writes,
They almost made an end of me on earth,
But I did not forsake Your precepts
I love that word, “almost.” This is a word of God’s protection. He allows us to face trials, even those we feel may almost be the end of us. We may fall into the deepest of pits dug by satan. But when we lean on and rely on Him, He promises to eventually provide a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Although he faced heavy persecution and they almost made an end of him, the Psalmist did not forsake God. This is inspiring because I am not sure I would be the same. I would like to think I would be. I would like to think I would stand and get persecuted for Him. But I feel as though I would probably be like Peter and deny Christ before I was bold enough to be persecuted for Him.
I long to be a woman who does not forsake His precepts, no matter what I face.
Towards the end of this Psalm, we see the Psalmist longed for justice. He describes the insolent who had dug pitfalls for him, and persecuted him. And He longs for God to punish those who are persecuting him. He longs to escape the pits of despair that have been dug for him.
The Psalmist closes by saying. “Revive me according to Your loving-kindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.”
The Psalmist began this stanza with confessing that his soul felt faint and then ended it with a prayer for revival. Oh how we can learn from this! In an instant gratification world, we must remember that transformation takes time. His time is not our time. Our Father is forming us into a Christ like image with each trial we face and every pit we fall into and He is doing it according to His own time table.
This is going to be a long journey. One in which we will question the timing of God. But Sisters, I hope today you remember the words written in Romans 8:38:
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I pray this post blesses you!
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Dont forget to grab your Psalm 119 Workbook here. Here are some examples of how our girls use this: