God is my shield, saving those whose hearts are true and right. God is an honest judge; He is angry with the wicked every day. (Psalm 7:10-11, NLT)
Frustration and Faith
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence last week, the “experts” have begun weighing in. Were the predictions accurate, was the preparation adequate, has the response been appropriate? As of now there have been 34 deaths related to the storm that crawled and churned across the Carolinas, wreaking havoc with high winds and record rainfalls. Any number of fatalities is tragic, of course, and any amount of destruction brings terrible hardship and suffering. But compared to some of the recent storms like Maria in Puerto Rico last year or Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, the “expert” assessment goes something like this: it could have been much worse.
Psalm 7 is yet another song of David written from a place of both frustration and faith. Like we have seen in Psalms 3-6, David doesn’t lack the faith to know that God is his only source of hope, deliverance and shelter from life’s storms. And yet, each song also reveals a frustration that, quite frankly, God could be doing a little more to get me out of this mess!
In verses 6-9 he hurls his frustrations at God, “Arise, Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies! Wake up, my God; decree justice…judge the peoples…bring an end to the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.” Do something about my problem, Lord!
But he follows his frustration with a strong declaration of faith, “God is my shield, saving those whose hearts are true and right. God is an honest judge; He is angry with the wicked every day.”
David doesn’t stop with the assessment that things are bad and God ought to do something about it; he believes that God is doing something about it, and if He wasn’t things would be hopelessly and immeasurably worse. David anticipates the words of the writer of Psalm 124 written in the aftermath of judgment and exile, “If the Lord had not been on our side we would have been swallowed alive by our enemies, destroyed by their anger, drowned in a flood of their fury and pride.”
It’s okay to be frustrated with how things are going in your life or in the world around you. In fact, it’s okay to be frustrated with God about it—David was! But if we believe that God is continually providing a shield around us, and that His sword of judgment will ultimately bring the world to rights, we can ride through the worst of storms with a confidence and faith the Lord is on our side…and thank God He is!
Keep offering your frustrations and your faith-filled dreams to God. And keep thirsting for His Living Water.
Philip Rose, Lead Pastor