September 3 – God Cares Even When Things are Hard

Psalm 94

O Lord, the God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!
Arise, O Judge of the earth.
    Give the proud what they deserve.
How long, O Lord?
    How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat?
How long will they speak with arrogance?
    How long will these evil people boast?
They crush your people, Lord,
    hurting those you claim as your own.
They kill widows and foreigners
    and murder orphans.
“The Lord isn’t looking,” they say,
    “and besides, the God of Israel doesn’t care.”

Think again, you fools!
    When will you finally catch on?
Is he deaf—the one who made your ears?
    Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes?
10 He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you?
    He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?
11 The Lord knows people’s thoughts;
    he knows they are worthless!

12 Joyful are those you discipline, Lord,
    those you teach with your instructions.
13 You give them relief from troubled times
    until a pit is dug to capture the wicked.
14 The Lord will not reject his people;
    he will not abandon his special possession.
15 Judgment will again be founded on justice,
    and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.

16 Who will protect me from the wicked?
    Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had helped me,
    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

20 Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—
    leaders whose decrees permit injustice?
21 They gang up against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord is my fortress;
    my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
23 God will turn the sins of evil people back on them.
    He will destroy them for their sins.
    The Lord our God will destroy them.

This psalm was likely written during the reign of Manasseh who reigned for 55 years and reintroduced the worship of Baal after Hezekiah had destroyed all the altars of Baal. (2 Kings 21) It was a time when followers of God felt they were being mistreated and pushed aside by an evil government. There are times today when Christ followers wonder if things will get more difficult as our culture turns its back on Christianity. 

The first 7 verses reflect the despair of the people wondering if God cares. Can he see what is going on and if so, why isn’t he doing something about it? Verses 8 to 11 remind us that God does know what is going on in our world. I love the wording in verse 9: 

“Is he deaf—the one who made your ears?

 Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes?”

No, God is acutely aware of what is happening to you, to me, to everyone. “The Lord knows people’s thoughts.” (v. 11)   There will be a time when God will judge people, but right now, he is patiently waiting. “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent”.  (2 Peter 3: 9)

As we look around our world today, a lot of frightening things are happening. We might be nervous about what the future holds. This psalm gives us some insight on how to deal with those troublesome things we have to face. First, we need to realize that God can use difficult things to teach us and grow us in our relationship with him. “Joyful are those you discipline, Lord, those you teach with your instructions”. (v. 12) Think back over your own life. When have you experienced tough times that grew your faith? I’ve mentioned in other devotions how my time of depression grew my faith. Living with my husband’s serious health issues for several years made us dependent on God’s strength. Getting a job that was challenging and turned out to be exciting also made me realize God was watching over me. 

During those moments of panic, we also need to remind ourselves that God “has our backs”. We can do that by reading verses like these:

18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.

19 When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

22 But the Lord is my fortress;
    my God is the mighty rock where I hide.

So, if you have moments of doubt, wondering if God knows the hard time you are facing. If you have moments when you feel overwhelmed. If you have moments when you feel prejudice because of your Christian faith. Believe what the Bible tells you about God. Write some reassuring verses on a paper and put it where you can see it. Know that God is teaching you and supporting you as you grow closer to Him.

Our song for today is Raise a Hallelujah by Bethel Music

One Reply to “September 3 – God Cares Even When Things are Hard”

  1. Good morning, As I began reading this Psalm, I couldn’t help but think of the corruption in Afghanistan. My heart aches for all the innocent people and children feeling abandoned in a country overtaken by evil, heartless rebels. It sure puts my life in proper perspective, we are so blessed, beyond measure, where God has placed us geographically in the world. (vs 9 Yes, He sees and yes, He hears) , (vs 23 God will turn the sins of evil people back on them, He will destroy them for their sins. The Lord our God will destroy them.). Praise You Lord God!

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