Psalm 44

“If we looked from a distance at the canvas of life, we would see the contrasting colors.  The joy and sorrow, the hope and despair - those emotional states representing the extreme situations of life would appear in black and white.  Of course, there are obviously many colors in between, and they are just as real as the opposites, but our eyes naturally fall on the points where the contrast is greatest” (C. Hassell Bullock, Encountering the Book of Psalms).

In the Psalms we read psalms of Thanksgiving and psalms of Lament. These are the extremes we read about and identify with. Our own experiences of the highs and lows connect with the attitude of the Psalter. In Psalm 44, we read the first community psalm of lament where the psalter is using words like “us” and “our." We read phrases like. “But now you have rejected and
humbled us” (Psalm 44:9), “You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations” (Psalm 44:11), and “you covered us over with deep darkness” (Psalm 44:19). Not exactly the most encouraging scripture to read, but this is the contrast in which we are entering into. Even in our disappointments, we can express ourselves to the Lord.

We can cry out to him: “Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?  Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?” (Psalm
44:23-24). This is our petition to God as we experience the lows of our life and lament to
Him. Even in our sorrow, we can express our trust and faith in Him: “In God we make our boast all day long,  and we will praise your name forever” (Psalm 44:8).

Prayer Focus and Action Steps:
1. Reflect on the contrasts in your own life.  Look at the last week, what highs and lows have you experienced. Draw it out visually to see where the peaks and valleys have come.  Consider drawing out separate lines that represent emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of your life.  What do you notice? Do the areas run in conjunction with one another or are they different?
2. What do you need to lament to God? Where do you find yourself in the contrast of life today?
3. Pray: Lord, thank you that you know me.  Thank you that you are present at all times and that you never change. You are with me in the lows and highs of life and all of the in-between. Even when I don’t think you are there, you are with me. Help me to be honest with you, Lord. Reveal in me what I may be even unaware of in order for you to transform me. Awaken me Lord as your reveal yourself to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
4. Listen:  Awake My Soul by Hillsong. 

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