“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?  Why are you so far from helping me and from the words of my roaring?. . .My praise shall be of You in the great congregation.  I will pay my vows before them that fear Him.  The meek shall eat and be satisfied.  They shall praise the Lord that seek Him; your heart shall live forever.”

Psalm 27:1, 25-26

If our trials and troubles are His Refiner’s fires (Job 23:10; I Pet. 1:6-7), we must continue lifting high the “shield of faith” (Eph. 6:17a) lest doubt and despair crush us underfoot.

How goes it this morning, Pilgrim?  How goes the battle?  Are you winning or losing?  Ready for another round or about to go down for the count?  Delighting?  Or depleted?

If your honest answer is the latter rather than the former, do not lose hope—for today’s Manna reveals you’re in good company.  Written by David, the lion-bear-giant-killing saint of God, the words “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” both haunt and taunt us.  We fear asking them because of pride, guilt and shame. . .afraid that others will think less of us for feeling that way. . .and fearful that God Himself will somehow give up on us.

But, we forget that Jesus Himself asked that same question from the Cross (Mk. 15:34).

He had to ask them if He would truly be “tempted in every way we are” (Heb. 4:15).  We had to know He knows what it feels like when the doctor comes out and says “It doesn’t look good”  . . .or when the car breaks down and there’s no money to fix it. . .or when a loved one leaves us through desertion, divorce or death.

Yes, we have to know that He knows how we feel and what we’re going through.

Otherwise, when “we’re pressed out of measure, beyond strength to the point that we even despair of life itself” (II Cor. 1:8), we’ll not know He’s our most “precious Treasure in earthen vessels Who rescues us from despair” (II Cor. 4:7-8) and “His Grace is sufficient for us” (II Cor. 12:9-10).

Dear Pilgrim, as someone said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”  Faltering economies.  The threat of terrorism.  The fear of pandemic diseases.  The lack of support from those others (Ps. 22:11; 142:4) and the escalation of evil all around us (II Tim. 3:1-7).

But, do not fear.  Do not lose hope.

Instead, at “Wit’s End Corner,” look up and cry out (Ps. 107:27-30).  The same God Who delivered the saints of old (Ps. 22:4-5) is the same God Who’ll deliver us—either IN the furnace or OUT OF it (Dan. 3:16-17).  Even if we “feel like a worm and the object of others’ scorn” (Ps. 22:6-8), we still will say “But You are He that took me out of the womb; You did make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts and have not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither hidden Your Face from me when I cried unto You” (Ps. 22:9, 24).

Why not spend a few minutes today thanking God for “the death sentence He has placed in you, which helps you to trust in Him rather than yourself” (II Cor. 1:9)?  He’s the same One Who delivered David and the same One Who raised Jesus from the dead.  Rest in Him even when you don’t feel Him or see Him working (Mt. 11:28-30).  He’s there.  Trust Him.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 12, 2009

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