Even When It Hurts

If you can, before reading the post, take a few minutes to listen to the music linked below:
Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) - Hillsong UNITED

"Even when the fight seems lost, I'l praise you. Even when it hurts like hell, I'll praise you. Even when it makes no sense to sing, louder then I'll sing your praise."

Psalm 102 - Do Not Hide Your Face from Me
A plea for the presence of God
This season that I am in is full of suffering. Not just my own suffering but I am walking beside people close to me that are also deeply suffering. Not everyone suffers in the same way but suffering is still suffering, no matter how someone looks at it. We do not have the right to minimize anyone's pain. I have not been able to study suffering as much as I would like to but the one thing I do know is that, no matter the affliction, God is eternal and everlasting, and I have absolutely no reason to stop praising Him even in my pain.

That is why Psalm 102 is my go-to meditation scripture during this time. I have never had someone read this Psalm to me or even recommend it but it is underrated. It is a scripture that is waiting to be discovered while you are going through Psalms.

My prayers are legitimate cries out to my Lord. I almost always finish my prayers in tears. Between praising and worshiping my Creator. Between wrestling with sins and temptations. Between asking God 500 different questions; even questioning my own existence. During my prayers I am brought to my knees and the tears fall as quick as rain. Psalm 102:1-2 ESV "Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you! Do not hide your face to me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!" A truly compassionate God cannot hear our prayers, and then not help. It softens the blow knowing that God's favor is upon you during affliction. It helps bare and endure the suffering, making the pain worth it because it is for a greater good.

"But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations" Psalm 102:12 ESV. The craziest thing about this Psalm is that the Psalmist acknowledges every single aspect of his affliction and he does not turn to God in any type of anger. I know that there was a time in my life where I would yell and scream at God for allowing me to suffer. I would even get more upset because I felt as though there was a barrier put up so that I could not feel Gods presence in my weakest moments. So it felt like the Lord was hiding His face.

As I age in my walk with God, I have a greater understanding of what that barrier is for my own life. 
The barrier goes up when I am to rely on God and then turn around to try to fix things on my own.
The barrier goes up when I doubt myself.
The barrier goes up when I doubt Gods plan for me.
The barrier goes up when my faith is weakened by my thoughts and I become anxious and fearful.

All of these barriers come from a lack of trust in the Lord and when I recognize that, I sit down with God and ask Him to push me. Push me in a way where I have no choice but to rely and trust Him. As soon as I do that and abide by His words spoken to me, the barrier comes down and I see God was walking beside me the whole entire time. I am learning that the devil puts into my head these images of God abandoning me. It is a stronghold that is controlling my freedom in Christ. Slowly, I am breaking away from it. I am beginning to unlock these doors the devil probably never thought I would find the keys to. 

We are always one door closer to our freedom in Christ.

"He regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayers" Psalm 102:17 ESV. The Psalmist uses his affliction as a trampoline or backboard to give God even more praise because he knows that the plans of the Lord are higher than he could ever fathom. That God has all the plans and paths created for the people who do not even exist yet. Something that we are going through right now can impact them greatly. All that is happening right now will be used to teach the future generation. That is wild. God's grace goes beyond human nature. It is something we will never be able to full grasp.

"A good man loves God better than himself and therefore can balance his own sorrow and death with the pleasing thought of the unchangeable blessedness of God." - Matthew Henry

El Roi, Your grace is ever-abundant and ever-flowing. In my suffering, I am humbled by Your love for me. Let the prayers that come from my lips be a protection for my children and grandchildren. Allow me to see my situation through Your eyes so that Your mighty plans for the generations to come will help me endure my current affliction. 
Lord, if I go through this suffering for Your glory - place the people You will have me impact in my line of path so that I am not blindly walking. 
No ounce of suffering compares to what Jesus did for me on the cross. Please never hide Your face from me. Let me know You are here with me. Give me the strength to endure and push through the pain as You gave to Your son.
Let my praises to You be louder than any distress I will ever face.