I jumped to conclusions and said, “I am cut off from your presence!” Psalm 31:22 NET
This morning I was reading Psalms 31 in the New English Translation when this verse stood out to me. Perhaps it is because it so often describes our quick reaction to life when things are not going our way and we grow impatient and are tempted to feel abandoned.
The key word is “feel.” When we live life based on our feelings and human perception, instead of trusting in God and standing on the truth of God’s Word, we wrongly define our circumstances and God’s mercy and strength.
Have you been there? I believe we all have at one time or another. Job is the classic example of working through emotions and maintaining trust in the Lord. He did not understand fully, but He refused to give up and “curse God and die.” As a result, we see this reference to Job in the New Testament, “We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” (James 5:11 NLT)
The verses before and after the Psalmist utters his quick conclusion are important.
Psalms 31:21 (NET) “The Lord deserves praise for he demonstrated his amazing faithfulness to me…”
Psalms 31:22b, 23 (NET) “But you heard my plea for mercy when I cried out to you for help. Love the Lord, all you faithful followers of his! The Lord protects those who have integrity…”
Integrity. That is what Job was commended for during his trials. We need to remember that when the Lord “feels” distant, He is not. We need to follow the admonition of James and, “Draw near to the Lord…” (James 4:8 NIV) Don’t base your perception on your circumstances or feelings but on the truth of God’s Word.
We can learn from those who have made it to the other side of the dark valley when prayers seem to go unanswered and we feel alone. That is why this Psalm ends with this encouragement, “Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the Lord.” (Psalms 31:24 NET)
Don’t jump to any conclusions about God or your situation. Your story is still being written. Keep trusting. Keep waiting. The Lord is closer than you feel.