Day 6 | Psalm 28
Everyone wants to be heard. At times, everyone needs to be helped. In challenging circumstances, it can seem as though God has turned a deaf ear to our prayers. It can seem as though our words are like chaff—utterly useless.
The writers of various Psalms shared these same feelings of fear, frustration, and futility. Yet, they insisted on being heard knowing if God does not hear His people’s pleas then no help will be found. “Listen to the sound of my pleading when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary” (Psalm 28:2). A stubborn spirituality is needed in times of struggle, one that insists on being heard and persists in prayer until help arrives.
If God’s help does not come then we will languish along with those who “do not consider what the LORD has done” (v. 5). God’s covenant community will face the same fate as those who conceal malice and hide in hypocrisy. Although we are like them in kind, we are not like them in consideration. Meaning, we too are guilty of evil deeds, but we consider what the LORD has done. We seek help from the work of His hands. The Lord is our strength in times of need.
The psalmist considered God’s work of redemption as expressed in the history of Israel. With His mighty hand, God brought them out of Egypt, led them through the wilderness, and placed them in the promised land—establishing His covenant with them. We too consider that but so much more. For we look back at God’s work of redemption as expressed in the cross of Christ. There, God upheld the integrity of His holy character by judging sin while at the same time holding out His helping hand towards sinners like you and me. The cross declares our sins forgiven. We never know the judgment that will fall upon those who reject God’s redeeming work. Our judgment fell on Jesus. The cross declares God is for us and not against despite our current struggles.
In light of the cross, we are free to be stubborn in our relationship with God. We are free to insist upon Him hearing and helping us. But, we also recognize how His help ultimately comes in times of struggle. God helps His people internally not necessarily circumstantially. He strengthens our hearts so that our faith, hope, and love is not overrun by fear, despair, and anger. This He provides always without always relieving our external struggles. “Therefore, my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song” (v. 7).
In times of struggle, a stubborn spirituality is practiced at the base of the cross. The cross is where our stubborn spirituality evolves into celebration, and the cross is where our help comes from. Thus, we pray, “The Lord is the strength of his people; he is a stronghold of salvation for his anointed. Save your people, bless you possession, shepherd them, and carry them forever” (vv. 8-9).