Do you ever get that feeling that the walls are closing in on you? Like the flames are licking up on your heels no matter how hard you try to run from them? That is the feeling I get from the author of this Psalm. He goes to bed feeling heavy and wakes up feeling heavy instead of refreshed, yet he is hopeful that the Lord will listen to his groans and painful prayers.
This got me to thinking about hope. There is an old hymn that, in part says 'My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness'. As Christians we do build our hope on nothing less than Jesus blood and his righteousness. Nothing less will fill the void that can be filled with Jesus.
Without hope what do we really have? Fear, anxiety, worry - none of those emotions will produce a positive outcome. Who among us has added even a minute to our lives by worrying? (Matthew 6:27) No truer words have ever been spoken. It is impossible to solve a problem by worrying it to death.
Hope does not disappoint. Let me repeat that. Hope. Does. Not. Disappoint. That is so important for us to remember because we can get so caught up in our suffering that we forget that it is through the suffering that we are gifted with perseverance and it is via that character producing perseverance that our hope springs. (Romans 5:1-5)
Although it seems that at times we are being attacked from all sides, we should not see that as an oppression. We should count it a joy that we are able to be strengthened by our pain.
I don't know about you, but at times, I wish that I could be a little less refined and feel the fire licking at my heals a little less often. But suffer, I must. I have to fix my eyes on God though, because surely God has great plans for those whose suffering is great. The enemy doesn't bother tormenting those who pose no threat.
So, If we find ourselves in these situations where the walls are closing in, we should remind ourselves that 'to those whom much is given, much is expected'. (JFK) If we trust God and place our hope in Him, he will show us where to go from here.