Ask God to Act
When my hope is lost and my faith is weak, I will rest in the one thing I know, and that is Your love.
Read Psalm 102:1-28
 A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the LORD. Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come to you.  Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.  For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers.  My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food.  In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones.  I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.  I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.  All day long my enemies taunt me; those who rail against me use my name as a curse.  For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears  because of your great wrath, for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.  My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.  But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.  You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.  For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity.  The nations will fear the name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.  For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory.  He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.  Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:  “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth,  to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”  So the name of the LORD will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem  when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the LORD.  In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days.  So I said: “Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations.  In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.  But you remain the same, and your years will never end.  The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhere do you naturally turn in distress?
Our lives are short. God is eternal. We are weak. God is the Creator of the world. We are prone to suffering. God is characterized by compassion and grace. The psalmist asserts these beliefs, contrasting his plight with the power of God, and seeks God’s help. This psalm has three parts. The focus in verses 1 to 11 is upon “me” and my plight. The subject changes, in verses 12 to 22, to the majesty of God as the enthroned King who intervenes on behalf of his people. God is sovereign over his people’s destiny. Then in verses 23 to 28, the psalmist unites his two themes, and asks this eternal God to rescue him in his frailty. Although the psalmist is clearly in distress, he entrusts himself to God and boldly asks God to act. In verses 1 and 2 he asks God to listen to him, while in verse 17 he expresses his confidence in God’s willingness to listen. Since God has the power to establish his people as a community who praises his name (18,21,22), he has the power to help one member of that community. God is greater than personal sin or external pressures. We are his people and may call upon him with confidence.
Consider a challenge from one of this week’s readings. Take this to the Lord and purpose to advance in this area.
My Lord, You are my confidence in the face of my own sin and the distresses around me. I safely trust in You.
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