Lent | 3.26.12

Psalm 119:9-16
Isaiah 43:8-13
2 Corinthians 3:4-11

Originating in the early days of the Church, Lent has always been a time in which Christians rededicated and refocused themselves for the Easter season. By taking part in Lent, the Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days.

Similarly, Psalm 77 is written from a heart going through great difficultly. If there is one thing we can appreciate about the psalms of Asaph, it is that he is always straightforward and honest. Asaph writes down his emotions and helps us to relate to his circumstances. The first two verses describe how Asaph was seeking after the Lord in the midst of his turmoil. Any person who has ever endured trial, suffering, emotional pain, or any life difficulty relates to these words. Asaph is literally crying to God for help. The last clause of verse 2 especially describes the nature of the suffering as he writes, “My soul refuses to be comforted.” Nothing can be said to Asaph that will make him feel better. The ordeal is so great that there is no place to find comfort.

Yet in order to endure his suffering, Asaph recounts the attributes and deeds of God. He says he will “ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” By focusing on God rather than himself, he is able to properly see his situation in perspective and endure his distress. I think the same can be true for us. First, we remember who God is. God is different than us. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, perfect in every way. In light of those truths, our limited sensibilities pale in comparison to God’s unlimited reality and understanding. Second, we remember what God has done. If we can remember what God has done, specifically in and through Jesus Christ on the cross, difficult circumstances look vastly different. God has worked great things as our Redeemer. He has delivered us from the slavery of sin and has purchased us from the death that was owed to us. So then, focusing on God’s character and work redeems our suffering and brokenness by allowing us to rest in God’s sovereign purposes.

We will all go through difficult times and seasons “in the wilderness.” Yet as we remember who God is, it is in these low moments that we find God to be all we really need and treasure His relationship all the more.

Larkin Briley
Junior, Religion in the Arts Major

You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at:http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf

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