When the going gets tough…

Dear Friends,

“Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually.”

These words come from Psalm 105. They are a very helpful reminder to set our hearts on God. The rest of Psalm 105 encourages us to do this by pointing us back to the days of Abraham, Joseph and Moses. We now regard them as great men but I’m not sure they felt that great at the time. Their greatness lies in the fact that they ‘sought the LORD and His strength.’

Remember that the LORD helps weak believers. Psalm 105 describes Abraham as ‘of little account’. Joseph found himself betrayed and alone in jail. And Moses felt entirely inadequate for the task given to him. In weakness we need to seek the LORD and His strength; to seek His presence continually.

Remember that difficult times do not mean the LORD is absent. In jail, it all looked like it had gone wrong for Joseph – the story is told in Genesis 40. But the writer tells us three times that ‘the LORD was with Joseph’. God was working out his plan even though Joseph couldn’t work out quite how. In challenging times, we need to seek the LORD and His strength; to seek His presence continually.

Remember that the LORD keeps His promises in His own time. Abraham lived in the land he and his descendants were promised but he never owned it in his own lifetime. Joseph was promised that one day his parents and brothers would bow down to him but it was years before it happened. The Israelites spent 400 years in Egypt, enslaved and hated but eventually God kept his promise to return them to Israel. With patience, we need to seek the LORD and His strength; to seek His presence continually; Abraham, Moses and Joseph did and the LORD was with them.

But there was once a man who sought the LORD and His presence and yet he was denied it. As he hung on the cross in weakness and darkness, he cried,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

And the answer to his question is very moving. God the Father had forsaken God the Son so that we need never ever experience such terrible God-forsakeness ourselves.

If Jesus is your Saviour, then ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ is something you will never have to say.

So seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually – you may feel weak and you may need patience but He will be with you while you wait.

With love in Christ,

Joe Dent
Rector