What does it look like to be grateful during really tough times? Is it “put on a happy face” and pretend that nothing bothers me? How do I tell of God’s goodness when tears are more abundant than laughter?
Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me. . .when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:1-4
It’s been a constant theme, probably because I need such a frequent reminder. When times are tough, look to God. Look to His character. Look to His ways. Look to His dealings in my life. Look to the hope of what He will accomplish in the future.
All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps as they have waited for my life. For their crime will they escape? In wrath cast down the peoples, O God! You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. are they not in your book? Psalm 56:5-8
God does not ignore my sorrow. He does care about injustice. However, if all of my focus is on the injustice and sorrow, I cannot keep my eyes on God. It’s a human thing . . .
Knowing that God sees me tears and my frustrations gives me hope. When I feel ignored, invisible, inconsequential — it’s a feeling. It is not how God treats me, how God feels toward me. Reminding myself (i.e. looking up) of God’s character reminds me that my feelings do not always tell me the truth. God’s Word ALWAYS tells me the truth.
. . .This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. Psalm 56:10-13
In sorrow, in injustice, in pain, in uncertainty — this I KNOW, that God is for me.
He has given me His Word, so I can remind myself of His goodness, so I can “look up.”
He has delivered my soul from death, has given me the gift of eternal salvation. My life, my soul, is secure.
Tears are temporary. Uncertainty is temporary. God’s steadfast love for me is forever and ever.
And I am so grateful.