Psalm 44:20 - 21 “If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?”
For the first eight verses the psalmists, the Sons of Korah, praise God acknowledging that all they have is due to Him. It wasn’t their strength or armies that brought them into the land. But it was God who brought them victory. Then the next nine verses tell us that God has humbled them and given victory over them to their adversaries. The author then says that this was not correction due to them forgetting the Lord or worshipping foreign Gods. In other words we are blameless and it isn’t our fault.
God did not say when we follow Him we will not face adversity. In fact the book of James says we are to consider it all joy when we face trials and temptations. Adversity is part of this fallen world we live in. The mind of man is at enmity with God. Unredeemed man is hostile towards God and His people. In fact the church is built upon the blood of the martyrs: those who overcame him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)
We tend to think that being saved by grace means we will never encounter resistance. The NIV bible calls this resistance suffering in Romans 5. But this word is thlipsis in the Greek and means pressure or pressing. This pressure is essential to building perseverance, which builds character and character fosters hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:5) Psalm 44 says in the last verse: “Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love.”
Perseverance, character and hope all point us in the direction of His unfailing love. Romans says He pours out his love into our hearts. We cannot let a time of adversity lie to us that God does not love us. As the psalmist says in verse 22 that God knows our heart’s secrets and He is not punishing us because of them. This is some times confusing as we think that as children of God we should not encounter times of silence, when God doesn’t seem to be acting on our behalf. It is not our sin or His anger that is the source of our adversity. It is the world we live in. But our hope in His unfailing love and His faithfulness will rise up and help us. Do not give up hope!
Prayer: “Father, thank you for your unfailing love. Even though we go through tough situations my perseverance will stand me in good stead developing my character, hope in You and an ever greater understanding of your unfailing love for me. Amen.”