Matthew 27, Verse 45, "Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Lamentations 3, Verses 19-25, "Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind. Therefore I have hope. The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.' "
Philippians 1, Verses 18-20, "Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."
James 5, Verses 16-19, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain the earth produced its fruit. My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know the he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."
There is someone I have come to know very well who was dealt a difficult life and turned to a life of sin. Knowing this person and his condition well, and having loved that person I shed tears for him tonight. Deliverance has been the theme of my life over the past year and half and as I think about this friend I think of deliverance again. Darkness can engulf a person and often I have felt abandoned by God. In some cases this abandonment can wreak havoc on someone's life from an early age. Yet God has prevailed in this person's life. My mind has groaned to God for this person who has both harmed me and loved me; my mind has also groaned to God about my own plight and sins. The words of Jesus in Matthew 27 and Lamentations 5, Verse 19 remind us that our soul is deeply moved by affliction; the remaining verses above remind us that we still have hope in Christ and that our God is a compassionate God. That is difficult for me to hear and understand when I am surrounded by evildoers and temptation. Even today, raw from recent events of intense turmoil and terror I ask, "Why God?" Rejoicing in God and having a hopeful faith in the Great I Am is difficult for real people, especially those that suffer. Yet my friend gives me hope as he has a changed life - that gives me hope and strengthens my faith.
Dear God, Why the suffering and affliction of so many? Especially the vulnerable and the weak. It seems so many have been allotted an easy life and yet I am weary for such long periods. I can hardly feel anymore and when I do there is hardly anything to laugh and smile about. Flashbacks abound of dark times in my life and my heart is anxious to escape life altogether. Yet, people remind me daily that God's hand in our lives and the good works of others are constantly in redemption mode. I have been prayerful for my friend, and I have turned from sin and I have hope in a few things again. The one thing that remains strong is my thankfulness for deliverance. " 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.' " In Jesus Name. Amen.
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