Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.
Delight in the Word of God
The hardest time to remember that God loves you is when you’re in trouble. It’s easy to know God’s love when your checkbook is flush, and your body is healthy. But when you’re in distress, God’s love is hard to see. How can you believe that God loves you when you’re broke, when chemo makes your hair fall out, or when a loved one is dying?
Where is God’s love in all of that? Worse, when trouble and distress strike, our natural reaction is to pray, “God, why would you let this happen to a good person like me?” But here’s the thing: I am not a good person.
Who can claim to be perfect in God’s sight? Who doesn’t forget to praise God when life is good? Who doesn’t doubt and complain when life isn’t? Scripture is clear: “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12). Because of sin, we are not good people. We do not deserve God’s love; we deserve trouble and distress.
But notice what today’s passage says: Our delight is God’s Word, not the outward circumstances of life. Trouble is part of an invaluable lesson that God teaches in the Bible and reinforces through experience. We are weak, but he is strong, and he will never let us down.
When you are hard pressed on every side, that’s when you see Jesus exactly where he has promised to be—right beside you. He knows trouble firsthand. Jesus suffered for the sinful world to forgive your imperfection and guarantee you an eternity that has no distress.
Until then, the troubles of life are a tool in God’s hand, and your faith is like a nail. The harder God hits it, the deeper it goes. Distress drives your faith even deeper. It sends you back to your baptism, back to the Word, back to the Lord’s Supper for proof of God’s love and for strength to endure.
So find your delight in God’s promises. You never have to wonder if God loves you. The cross proves it: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Lord, strengthen me to trust your promises and remember your love in good times and in bad. Amen.
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