We ask ourselves, why we face struggles in this life – why it seems like those who decide to serve and honor and love God and their fellow man are the ones who the world in turn uses and oppresses and mocks and robs and despises. We would expect the world to pity us for our mercy and generosity and kindness and love extended even to our enemies – if they were just men of heart and mind towards one another.
Why would the same man that we help and love, in turn hate us, just because we say that we’re doing it because of You, just because we want You to have all of the glory and honor and praise? Yes, this enemy whispers lies and hatred and evil and rebellion into the ears of so many that are blind, lost, naked, and far from the light of your presence, your breath, your life. Even those these trials will test and prove us, Lord, how long will you be slow to anger?
Your saints are martyred daily in parts of the world by the sword. And even though the gates of hell do not prevail against your true church, your body of believers living with you as both Savior and Lord of their lives – imposters are rampant in gathering places that speak so many lies about you – even in your name! With false teachers abounding that seek to profit by twisting the Good News into something they can use to institute authority over others. Instead of offering service at the feet of others to feed the flock, they feed off of the flock, making merchandise of your people.
This is not our doubt crying out, Lord, because we know that you are our only prize and portion – where can we turn but to the Lord? Yes, you tell us not to lean on our own understanding, but to follow faithfully with hope in things unseen. We are here, Lord. How long?
O God, why have You cast us off forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—
This Mount Zion where You have dwelt.
Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations.
The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary.
Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place;
They set up their banners for signs.
They have set fire to Your sanctuary;
They have defiled the dwelling place of Your name to the ground.
They said in their hearts, “Let us destroy them altogether.”
They have burned up all the meeting places of God in the land.
We do not see our signs;
There is no longer any prophet;
Nor is there any among us who knows how long.
O God, how long will the adversary reproach?
Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever?
Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand?
Take it out of Your bosom and destroy them.
For God is my King from of old,
Working salvation in the midst of the earth.
Psalms 74:1-4, 7-12
And we do not cry out how long because of our own burdens or weight. Because our love for you, our grattitude, our belief in the price paid – your grace planted in our hearts is sufficient. It is enough to daily quench the burning desire in our hearts to know you even closer and more fully, while the fire of your Holy Spirit presence is sufficient to set ablaze the world around us. We long for revival, for your people to rise up, for your army to push back those prideful enemies and traitors, for everyone to praise your Holy name.