Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Praising God no matter what!

Today was a day we got results back for Fiona's bloodwork. We had high hopes. Recently, she had really sensed God's touch while being prayed for. She'd seen consistent changes for the better in many of her outward symptoms for a couple of months now. And yet today's bloodwork did not show change for the better. Quite the opposite actually. So what's our response?

Praise, that's what. And if any of you who read this are people who've been praying for Fiona, let that be your response too. Fiona and I settled before we went to the doctor's today that we'd hope for the best but not allow disappointment to dampen our faith. And in the past, when disappointments have come, we've looked to Psalm 112:7-8, which describes the righteous as one who "is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks with triumph on his adversaries."

That's what I plan to do: To stand firm. Steady. And to trust God. In fact, today's results made me feel more tenacious than ever. Jesus taught us "that at all times [we] ought to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1), and if that doesn't apply now, when does it? So we will continue to pray, and would appreciate any of your prayers as well!

I recently described Psalm 22:1-5 as being a great description of Fiona. It begins with a familiar phrase that Jesus uttered from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day and you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest" (22:1-2). Who can't relate to that? Can't most of us think of times we've cried out to God for something that never seemed to come about? If you're like me, you've been tempted to give up. And after 20 years of praying for Fiona's healing, I've felt that way many times.

But look at the very next word of Psalm 22... "Yet..." What a great word! It's a word that suggests that we're about to see a contrast to what's gone on before. It's a word God uses when everything seems dark. "Yet..."

"Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and you delivered them. To You they cried and were rescued; in You they trusted and were not put to shame"
(22:3-5). The contrast is that of God's blazing holiness compared to the fleeting shadows of any troubles we face in this world. This contrast is meant to show those who are struggling with troubles that just don't seem to go away that our focus should be on God and how great He is! And when we choose God as our focus, and praise Him in times of trouble and disappointment, we're declaring that we consider God to be bigger than our troubles and more important than any solutions we seek.

And notice what God did for those who trusted Him in such a way: they were delivered, rescued and "not put to shame"! If you want to know who models this kind of God-centered tenacity far more consistently than I, it's Fiona. That's why these verses are such a great description of her. She has struggled with unanswered prayer for 20 years and yet she still consistently and confidently turns to God for deliverance. And after today's test results, it's time for us to do that again!

© 2009 by Ken Peters

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