Too often we find ourselves in troubling times. This is the lot of the human experience, yet for believers in Jesus Christ, these troubling times are not without hope. This truth has brought me to the Songs of Ascent that we see in the Book of Psalms. These were sung by the pilgrims on their way up to the temple at Jerusalem for the feasts and, I believe, are helpful for our journey through this brief, but important, life here on earth.
Every day we are faced with situations in our life when the only resource we have is prayer. The problem is that instead of supernatural prayer, we try in vain to solve problems using measly human means. We quarrel among each other. We emotionally anguish inside. And all the while, Satan roams about looking to devour our very souls. We see that this only compels the believer to resort to God alone for our delivery.
Distress as mentioned in Psalm 120 is used by the Holy Spirit to stir us to pray. Only when the Holy Spirit initiates prayer will it be effective. Now, remember the time and manner of answering our prayers are in God’s sovereign hand. But coupled with the truth that God will always do what is best for His children, we know that the certainty of relief is no doubt unfailing.
Besides prayer, our responsibility as believers is to seek peace. Part of the measly human means we look to for deliverance in times of distress is our own tongue. No doubt, spend a few minutes on cable news in the evening, and you will find talking heads firing wicked darts at each other until it makes you sick to watch any longer. We should be warned against falling into any of the sins of the tongue. What can we gain from slinging mud? Only dirty faces. Scripture is quite clear about slanderers. We are not to associate with or participate in this behavior.
Good men love peace, pray for it, pursue it, and will give anything for it. Romans 12:18 teaches us of the marks of the true Christian when Paul says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Most men love strife. We must labor to overcome evil with good. Let us labor to tame our tongue when we find ourselves in a disagreement. We must quietly plead for peace and copy the psalmist when he says, “I am for peace.” It is a hard, but worthy, cause to be longsuffering with others. If God can be patient, surely it should be our goal as well as we imitate Him.
Through all the trials and distresses of this life, our God is there to deliver us. The Almighty sustains us through it all. His everlasting arms are strong enough and His mercies rich enough to deliver us from the most trying of times and disputes we may encounter. In your quiet time today, acknowledge Him in all His ways and wonder at His divine deliverance.