In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. - Psalm 120:1
This first of the Psalms of Ascent is about praying when we are struggling. I love the simplicity of it, “In my distress, I called to the LORD, and he answered me.” When we are facing the challenges of this world, when the brokenness impacts our lives to the point of distress, we can call on Him and He will answer us.
God tells us in scripture that we will struggle. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We may not like it, but the reality is we live in a broken world, marred by the effects of sin. We daily face all kinds of pain, trouble, suffering, weeping, loss and despair. This verse is a hopeful reminder of the peace we can find in Him amidst such a broken world.
I read a great quote by Elisabeth Elliot in my devotion this morning: “Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing with power to destroy you. Turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried your griefs and sorrows.” Trials and sorrows are part of living in a broken world, but He is bigger and more powerful than any worldly trouble we face.
Nobody likes trials, but if you’ve been on this journey for any time at all, you know God can use our struggles to transform our hearts and to bring us closer to Him. The starting point for that change is most often discontent with what the world has to offer, and the path to that change is paved with prayers like the one found in Psalm 120.
The reality is we don’t belong here. As believers, this is not our home. We were made to worship the King in the heavenly realm, so living in this world will never be truly comfortable for us, despite how hard we work at creating a peaceful existence. Our hearts were made for Him, so living in a world opposed to Him will leave us feeling attacked. That discontent should draw us back to Him. Psalm 120 teaches us how to pray when we’re feeling the struggle.
Looking forward to the journey through the Psalms of Ascent this summer.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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