March 29: Prayer and Hope for the Anxious
Numbers 33:1–49; 1 Corinthians 15:12–34; Psalm 28:1–9
Anxiety, depression, and fear aren’t part of the Christian life—or the ideal Christian life, anyway. But for those who struggle with these emotions, this tidy concept isn’t helpful or true. What is helpful is hope and belief in the midst of tumultuous emotion.
The writer of Psa 28 expresses deep anxiety, but even as he does this, he expresses trust in Yahweh: “To you, O Yahweh, I call. O my rock, do not be deaf to me. Or else, if you are silent to me, then I will become like those descending to the pit” (Psa 28:1). Though he feels like God is not listening, the psalmist doesn’t stop pursuing God. He worships and cries for help anyway. In contrast to the “workers of evil” who “do not regard the works of Yahweh, nor the work of his hands,” the psalmist puts all of his dependence and trust in Yahweh (Psa 28:3, 5).
Halfway through the psalm, the petition turns to praise when Yahweh answers his prayer. The psalmist realizes his confidence is in the right place: “Blessed is Yahweh, because he has heard the voice of my supplications” (Psa 28:6). Even through dark times and bleak circumstances, God is faithful. He is never far from us, though emotions might dictate otherwise. He will “Shepherd them also and carry them always” (Psa 28:9). He saves, blesses, guides, and even carries us through all seasons.
We are saved not according to our own works, but the work of Christ. In the midst of struggle, we can be certain that we are experiencing salvation now, in part. And we can be “convinced of this same thing, that the one who began a good work in [us] will finish it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
How are you trusting in God in the midst of struggle? How can you thoughtfully support someone who is suffering through a season like this?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went out of the land of Egypt, according to their bands under the hand of Moses and Aaron. And Moses wrote their going out by their journeys, according to the commandment of the Lord: so these are the journeys of their going out. Now they departed from Rameses the first month, even the fifteenth day of the first month, on the morrow after the Passover: and the chilren of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. (For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the Lord had smitten among them: upon their gods also the Lord did executin.) And the children of Isreal removed from Ramses, and pitched in Succoth. And they departed from before Etham, and turned again unto Pi Hahiroth, which is before Baal Zephon, and pitched before Migdol. And they departed from before Hahiroth, and went through the midst of the Sea into the wilderness, and went three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah. And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim, and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and seventy palm trees, and they pitched there. And they removed from Elim, and camped b the red sea. And they removed from the red Sea, and lay in the wilderness of Sin. And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin, and set up their tents in Dophkah. And they departed from Dophkah, and lay in Alush. And they removed from Alush, and lay in Rephimdim, where was no water for the people to drink. And they departed from Rephidim, and pitched in the wilderness of Sinai. And they removed from the desert of Sinai, and pitched in Kibroth Hattaavah. And they departed from Kibroth Hattaavah, and lay at Hazeroth. And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah. And they departed from Rithmah, and pitched at Rimmon Perez. And they departed from Rimmon Perez, and pitched in Liibnah. And they removed from libnah, and pitched in Rissah. And they journeyed from Rissah, and pitched in Kehelathah. And they went from Kehelathah, and pitched in mount Shepher. And they removed from mount Shepher, and lay in Haradah. And they removed from Haradah, and pitched in Makheloth. And they removed from Makheloth, and lay in Tahath. And they departed from Tahath, and pitched in Terah. And they removed from Retah, and pitched in Mithkah. And they went from Mithkah, and pitched in Hashmonah. And they departed from Hashmonah, and lay in Moseroth. And they departed from Moseroth, and pitched in Bene Jaakan. And they removed from Bene Jaakan, and lay in Hor Hagidgad. And they went from Hor Hagidgad, and pitched in Jotbathah. And they removed from Jotbathah, and lay in Abronah. And they departed from Abronah, and lay in Ezion Geber. And they removed from Ezion Geber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh. And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. (And Aaron the Priest went up int omount Hor, at the commandment of the Lord and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month. And Aaron was an hundred and three and twenty years old, when he died in mount Hor.) And King Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the South of the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel. And they departed from mount Hor, and pitched in Zalmonah. And they departed from Zalmonah, and pitched in Punon. And they departed from Punon, and pitched in Oboth. And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in Ije Abarim, in the borders of Moab. And they departed from Ijim, and pitched in Dibon Gad. And they removed from Dibon Gad, and lay in Almon Diblathaim. And they removed from Almon Diblathaim, and pitched in the mountains of Abarim before Nebo. And they departed from the mountains of Araim, and pitched in the plain of Moab by Jordan toward Jericho. And they pitched by Jordan, from Beth Jesimoth unto Abel Shittim, in the plain of Moab. Numbers 33:1–49
- Now if it be preached, that Christ is risen from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. And we are found also false witnesses of God: for we have testified of God, that he hath raised up Christ: whom he hath not raised up, if so be the dead be not raised. For if the dead be not raised, then Christ is not raised. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain: ye are yet in your sins. And so they which are asleep in Christ, are perished. If in this life only we hope in Christ, we are of all men the most miserable. But nos is Christ risen from the dead, and was made the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the ead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: the firstfruit is Christ, afterward, they that are of Christ, at his coming shall rise again. Then shall be the end, when he hath delivered up the kingdom of God, even the Father, when he hath put down all rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed, is death. For he hath put own all things under his feet. (And when he saith that all things are subdued to him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put down all things under him.) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him, that did subdue all things under him, that God may be all in all. Else what shall they do which are baptized for dead? if the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for dead? Why are we also in jeapordy every hour? By your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If I have fought with beasts at Ephesus after the manner of men, what advantageth it me, if the deal be not raised up? let us eat and drink: for tomorrow we shall die. Be not deceived: evil speakings corrupt good manners. Awake to live righteously, and sin not: for some have not the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame. 1 Corinthians 15:12–34
- Unto thee, O Lord, do I cry: O my strength, be not deaf toward me, lest if thou answer me not, I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my petitions, when I cry unto thee, when I hold up my hands toward thine holy Oracle. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity: which speak friendly to their neighbors, when malice is in their hearts. Reward them according to theirdeeds, and according to the wickedness of their inventions: recompense them after the work of their hands: render them their reward. For they reward not the works of the Lord, not the operation of his hands: therefore break them down, and build them not up. Praised be the Lord, for he hath heard the voice of my petitions. The Lord is my strength and my shield: mine heart trustedin him, and I was helped: therefore mine heart shall rejoice, and with my song will I praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the strength of the deliverences of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and exalt them forever. Psalm 28:1–9