Up in the night struggling. How many times have we experienced this. In the darkness, hope seems far away. When the sun comes up, it often chases away not only the physical darkness, but the internal darkness also. How can we survive until morning?
Psalm 119:49-56 (CSB)
49 Remember your word to your servant;
you have given me hope through it.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction:
Your promise has given me life.
51 The arrogant constantly ridicule me,
but I do not turn away from your instruction.
52 Lord, I remember your judgments from long ago
and find comfort.
53 Rage seizes me because of the wicked
who reject your instruction.
54 Your statutes are the theme of my song
during my earthly life.
55 Lord, I remember your name in the night,
and I obey your instruction.
56 This is my practice:
I obey your precepts.
Affliction is universal. Everyone struggles. We do not all struggle with the same issue. We struggle differently at different times, but we all struggle. Rarely do we have a period that is without some sort of struggle. Affliction is a word that carries a sense of struggle that is severe or lengthy. The Psalmist reveals his affliction in by speaking of those who are wicked and constantly ridicule.
How does he respond? What does he seek as a source of comfort in difficult times? We see his answer in the following verses. Verse 49 records his remembrance of God's word and that it brings hope. In verse 52 we see that God's promises have been a source of life. Verse 52 remembers comfort from what God has done in the past. In the night (verse 55), when things are dark, remembering God and following is his habit.
What can we learn? In times of affliction and opposition, what will comfort? In the dark and wee hours of the morning, how can we find solace? How can we remember?
We can seek God's word. Doing so will reveal His nature and show us how to flourish. All things were created to exist and interact in a way that is consistent with, and flows from God's nature. The Bible is full of stories of God's faithfulness. We see Him alive and active in people from all walks of life and in both good and bad circumstances.
Practicing a habit of daily devotions and study of God's word is a very powerful habit. We learn and grow as we read, pray, and apply God's truth to how we understand our world and our circumstances. We use it to guide our behaviors and priorities. This filtering of all things through His truth gives us perspective, hope, comfort and freedom.
Set about to familiarize and memorize God's word. This will be a huge resource for steadfastness and perseverance.
Have a tactic for remembering God's faithfulness. It was a common thing for God to ask the Israelites to build something that would serve to remind them of the things He had done. Be inspired to find a way to build memories that will remind us of His character and care for us.
Will you pray this stanza of Psalm 119 as a prayer today?