Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Do We Feel Forsaken By God?

Matthew 27:46

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

112015 Ray McDonaldRecently the news has been filled – as usual it seems these days – with tragic reports. Record-breaking rains in Chennai – India – followed by massive flooding – people losing everything and some losing their lives. Recently in Missouri – heavy rains and flooding have hit the Mississippi banks and the prediction is the Mississippi delta area near the Gulf of Mexico will once again be hard hit. Lives and homes have been lost. Hundreds of migrants drowned when the ship they were on sank – as people fled Libya – over 1,000 people were crammed onto a boat that couldn’t hold 500. An earthquake hit Nepal this year and killed over 9,000 people. In our area – near Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta – Virginia – two reporters were killed on the air. And – although this is not an all-inclusive list of tragic moments this past year – the Refugee Crisis has hit the news often. In 2015 five boats sank in the Mediterranean Sea – which killed around 1,200 refugees coming mostly from Syria – Afghanistan – and Eritrea. I believe the child – a 3-year-old boy – who washed upon a beach – was from those who died in this event. Lastly – ISIS – radical terrorists – is running amuck and no government seems to be ready to take them on.

I bet these tragic moments make us feel bad for the times we have complained about our circumstances. Yet there are times when we do feel like the world is caving in around us I’m sure. Some of us have lost loved ones – face life threatening disease – been unfairly treated in our workplace or by the government – and more. Think of a time or times when you were mistreated. Did we ever feel like God had turned His head away and decided to not care? Have we ever cried out – like Jesus – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

This cry from Christ comes when He was hanging on the Cross of Calvary. Some believe He was quoting Psalm 22 – here is a portion of that Psalm. Psalm 22:1–8 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.  In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

The Good News for Jesus and for us – is that the Psalm ends with hope. Psalm 22:21–25 – 21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. 22 I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. 23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. 25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.

God has promised to never leave us – Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 

God has promised to help us carry our load – Matthew 11:29 – Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Take heart – God is with us – God is for us – God wants to bless us – Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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January 5, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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