Have you ever turned a corner only to face trouble? Unexpected
things happen on life's road. If you have time to see the problem
coming, you might be able to avoid it or even make a u-turn. What
was behind has to be better than what is ahead. The desire to avoid
problems is natural.
We read about a complaint in Psalm 22. Jesus even quoted verse one
as he was hanging on the cross (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34). It is cry
of anguish and pain. “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?” Have you been
there? Have you felt distance between yourself and God? The creator
is not far, but the feelings of pain seem closer, and they are not
Have you ever told God how you feel? That's what the Psalmist did.
One might be surprised to know that the Psalms (the Hebrew hymn
book) is full of expressions of heartache and feelings of despair. Even
though life is tough, the fact is that God has not changed. So, how
does one (including the Psalmist) reconcile trouble with an all-
knowing, loving, and caring God?
After expressing how he was feeling, the Psalmist said one important
word. It is the word “yet”. This word is key for everyone. Instead of
staying at the problem, he does a “u-turn”. “Yet You are holy, O You
who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3). It wasn't
enough for the Psalmist to give words to his pain. He turned to a God
who was not only able to get him out of his trouble; he is also the one
who delivered his descendants.
After turning to God, he then raised his prayer up. “Be not far from
me, for trouble is near” (Psalm 22:11, 19). Lastly, he purposed in his
heart to praise God. The English word “praise” has a number of
meanings in Hebrew. The praise that the Psalmist speaks about in
verse 22 actually means “to be clamorously foolish with praise”. It's
at this point that things seem a little strange. After all, we can choose
to worship God in spite of the situations we face, but to be exuberant
about it seems to be over the top.
Why would anyone do such a thing when in trouble?: simply because
those who turn to God will not be disappointed. God's heart of love is
so great that those who turn to him will always experience relief. “The
afflicted will eat and be satisfied” (Psalm 22:26). God is sympathetic to
anyone that hurts and he is inviting us to make a “You Turn”.
There is a pattern for us to follow when trouble shows up:
1) Admit there is a problem. Cry about it if you want to. There is no
reason to try to fool yourself that everything is all right.
2) Make your petition before God who is near and who hears.
3) Be extravagant with praise for the God who loves you even before
you see the answer. God is worthy of praise whether or not the answer
4) Proclaim in faith that the God who is your help will certainly make
All this is done as God is the focus. The lifestyle of worship will always
include “You Turns”.
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