Wednesday, August 5

Top 10 Joy Killers: Not Understanding God's Ways

Did you understand all that your parents were "doing to" you while growing up? So often they were managing higher level things then whether I should have a new computer or not.

It astounds me how poorly my children interpret me now. The curse has reversed. I recently was reliving a moment with my son. His perception of what happened and mine were miles apart. Of Course I was right!!! Nah ....

When we fail to understand what is happening around us we can lose perspective, give way to anger or despair and lose our joy.

The key culprit is the question, Why. Why did this happen? Why didn't that happen? Why is God not helping me? Why? Why? Why?

Read: Psalm 42
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?”

4 My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of a great celebration!

5 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and 6 my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
from the land of Mount Mizar.
7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.

8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.

9 “O God my rock,” I cry,
Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

This is a song of discouragement. They joy is lost to circumstances and misunderstanding.

From the context, we learn the song writer has a special trust in the Lord and is captured by longing and thirst for Him (v. 1, 2). This trust comes at a price of mockery and pain (v. 3, 9, 10). We also see that God is not showing up to the satisfaction of the song writer or his mockers.

The writer does not understand the ways of God and has misplaced his joy in the process (v. 4). Soon the "why" questions begin to develop. Why are not not showing yourself God? Why will you not take care of these guys? Why do I feel alone? Why have you abandoned me?

Joy is sacrificed on the altar of misunderstanding of God's ways.

The song writer teaches us how to get out of the funk in the sections in green above. Please reread those sections.

Do you ever misunderstand God's ways? If our kids so often misinterpret our actions due to a lack of knowledge how much more can we miss understand God's actions! When we reach this place we have to do a couple of very important things.
1. Admit that we do not understand the what and why of how He works
2. Press into Him do not pull away (v. 1, 2)
3. Remind yourself of WHO he is when you don't know WHY he does. It is sort of bumper stickerish but still true, "If you do not understand the hand of God, trust the heart of God".
4. Choose to put your hope in God (v. 5, 11) and choose to praise him (v. 5, 8, 11). This will require trust against your feelings.

Close with a song from the DevoLink Worship Center. Listen to Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns.

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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