Psalm 119: 159
“Consider how I love your precepts!
Give me life according to your steadfast love.”
Reading this passage makes me think of God’s redemptive love. The Psalmist sings of the importance and perfection of God’s law, giving his heart to God, seeking Him and crying out to Him for deliverance in the midst of his suffering.
When he is surrounded by wickedness, pained by their evil schemes and persecutions, he never loses his trust in God and love for His precepts because he knows that God is good and faithful, and the Lord is his “hiding place” and “shield” (Ps. 119:114). Yet, he keeps crying out for the Lord to give him “life”. We don’t deny that this “life” includes deliverance from evil hands of the wicked, but it goes deeper than that, doesn’t it?
Sometimes our pain doesn’t go away as soon as we would like it to, sometimes it remains for a lifetime. And even in such situations, God is still good and faithful and in control. And in the midst of lasting pain and suffering, He gives us Life – He gives us Jesus, who is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
In John 16: 33, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In our suffering, we can have Life, we can have Jesus – He gives us peace in our faithful endurance of the trials, and He gives us hope in our trouble because we know that His word is true – He has indeed overcome the world/evil on the Cross, so reality goes far beyond what our naked eyes can see – it goes onto the Cross, to the One who is sitting on the throne on the right hand of the Father in Heaven, who is watching over us and interceding for us to God.
It’s a dangerous thing to keep looking at our circumstance and pain because we can easily be deceived by Satan and our heart into believing that we are alone in our struggles, that God doesn’t care and that He has left us to “die” in our painful circumstances. But these are lies from Satan, trying to take us away from God. I like the symbol of the Cross – it reminds me what Christ has done for me by dying on the cross to save me and give me a new and real life in God’s kingdom; it reminds me of whom I belong to, as well as the fact that I live “in between” – I live in this world but do not belong to it; this world and pain is temporary, and our life in Christ is eternal.
So as we wait for the Lord to act according to His good and perfect will, let us cry out to Him with the Psalmist, “Lord, give me Jesus, give me more of Him, so that this pain becomes a gain of more of you, in whom I belong and am blessed!”