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Daily Devotional: Thursday, January 13 - God, Where Are You?

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” — Psalm 34:17

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Let’s get real for a second. We all wonder why God often seems so silent when we’re most desperate to hear from Him — when we’re lost, deep in the pit and there doesn’t appear to be an escape for the pain we’re enduring or the predicament in which we’ve found ourselves.

I’ve been there, many times. I can still recall moments of intense emotional pain when I cried out to the Lord. Not knowing where to turn, what to say or what to do, I just lifted a desperate prayer to God asking for mercy and relief from the blanket of misery that was wrapped around my soul.

Most of the heroes of faith we read about in Scripture had to weather some powerful storms in their lives as well. Take, for example, King David. Sure, he kicked some tail when he was young. He was a warrior, having killed lions and bears with his bare hands as a shepherd, before taking down the bane of Israel’s existence — Goliath — with a sling and a stone.

Yet while David experienced some incredible victories as a young man, he also suffered some catastrophic losses along the way. He was purged from King Saul’s home and hunted for years as a threat to Saul. He lost his best friend, Jonathan. He lived in caves as a future king without a home. After Saul’s death, David did become king of Judah, but still suffered through losses of two sons. One was born from his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, and the other was Absalom, who attempted to usurp his father’s throne.

What did David do when he agonized over his plight? He cried out to the Lord, and he didn’t hold back. But, even David — whom Scripture calls a “man after God’s own heart” — had his doubts.

Consider Psalm 35, especially verses 17 and 22:

“How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my previous life from these lions.” — Psalm 35:17

“Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord.” — Psalm 35:22

Even in his pleas to the Lord, David was confident they would not only be heard, but that God would act.

We should have that same confidence today. You might believe silence is absence. But take it from David in Psalm 34:17: “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”

— C.A. Phillips, Communications Pastor at NorthStar Church, Kennesaw, Georgia

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