He Hears

Psalm 107:1-3; 17-21

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.

17 Some were fools through their sinful ways,
    and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
18 they loathed any kind of food,
    and they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
    and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Today is a day for joy. It’s hard for me to read a passage like this and not feel gratitude. In some ways, I can’t speak for the experiences of every person, but deep down there are things that I know are true about us all. I know that we have all experienced hurt, and if you haven’t, I’m confident that you will at some point. It’s not that I like to be overdramatic about these things, but I do like to tell things like they are. So, at some point in our lives we have or we will experience brokenness. We’ll have to come to terms with our failures and our shortcomings. We’ll have to grapple with the fact that we are far from perfect. We are, in fact, sinful.

We like to always paint this as a complete negative, but I’m not always confident that it is. We are sinful, but it’s our sin that exposes our need for others and ultimately for God. We realize that it’s really hard to go through life alone and that we can’t always naturally pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. We need a supernatural help from the Lord.

The good news is that a passage like this tells us some things about who God is. He has gathered together in one body, the global church, to be his heirs and to encourage, equip, and love one another. I know that this isn’t everyone’s experience with churches. Unfortunately, there are many people who have distorted the image and function of the church to be something that it was never intended to be. It was never intended to be oppressive, yet that’s many people’s experience. It was never intended to be abusive, yet many experience abuse at its hand. Despite the deeply distorted portrait of the church that some communities portray, it isn’t always aligned with the biblical vision of how things should look and function.

19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
    and delivered them from their destruction.

God does not promise deliverance from hardship in this lifetime, nor does he promise to end discomfort on your timeline. God is in this for the long haul. He has eternity in mind and is concerned with a spiritual freedom that only he can promise. Nevertheless, he has called the church to seek justice and relief on behalf of others. One of the charges of the church is to care for those who are struggling. We serve a God who hears the cries of his people. We serve a God who heals and who delivers. God hears your voice when you cry out to Him. It’s a time of joy and a time of thanksgiving. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Prayer and Reflection

If you feel like you need to cry out to God about something, do it. If the Psalms show us anything, they show us that it’s okay to do that. Cry out because He will hear you.

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