You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
– Psalm 71:20
Last night I was privileged to join a cell group for their cell meeting. During the group sharing of thanksgiving, many shared about the troubles and difficulties that they faced in the lives, whether at the work place or in their family, and how God was faithful and gracious to help in time of need. I was struck by how virtually every one of us experiences troubles of some form in our lives and there is no exception!
The psalmist reveals to us (surprisingly) that it is the Lord who allows troubles in our lives! And this revelation is by no means unique in this psalm alone. Job’s calamities were permitted to take place in his life by God (Job 1-2). Paul the apostle testified to experiencing the harassment of a messenger of Satan sent by God (2 Corinthians 12:7). Psalm 119 tells us that according to God’s faithfulness to us, he has afflicted us (v75).
The question is why: Why would God afflict his children whom he loves when he is also a merciful and gracious God?
This is a question with a complex and multifaceted answer. Yet today we are comforted in Psalm 71 that God will deliver us from our troubles and give us life. His purpose in all he does in our lives is to give us life and cause us to put our hope in him alone. He alone is the One who saves us!
Let us cling ever more to him this day and strengthen our hope in his salvation, no matter the circumstances we may face. He alone is our refuge, shield and exceedingly great reward!
Faithful Lord, living Saviour,
in youth and old age,
from the womb to the grave,
may we know your protection
and proclaim your great salvation
to the glory of God the Father.