Once again my health has made it difficult to write with any regularity. Today I introduce a special feature written by Vernon Gray and posted on Rapture Ready. Having struggled through many long and painful trials myself, I find that this piece by Mr. Gray speaks deeply to my heart. Despite my health, my family and I have a comfortable lifestyle. We have never been cast out on the street, but we have endured trials in other areas of life which, without God's presence, strength and love, we would not have been able to endure. As you read this article you will feel Vernon's deep despair and pain, his doubt and in the face of this, his enduring love for our Lord.
In the blink of an eye any one of us could face things that we, alone, can not hope to deal with. Praise our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ that we never have to.
A Psalm of Distress
By Vernon Gray
Lord God Almighty – You are sovereign.
Your love is fathomless,
Your grace is boundless,
Your power is without limit,
You are greater than anything man can imagine.
Lord, please don’t ignore me in my suffering,
I am baptized in calamity and all I touch turns sour.
Every day is a crisis and it does not get better.
I know that this is your hand upon my life.
But oh Lord, do not deny me your fellowship.
I can bear life’s lashings and mans rebuke
But I cannot abide the denial of your presence.
I was created to have fellowship with you,
My spirit has awakened to the need for Your nurture,
Please don’t withhold that which is most precious.
Lord, I am wretched and unworthy of Your love,
But surely in Christ I have a covenant with You?
Surely Father I am a son?
What is it that I am missing here Father, When I petition You, things get worse.
I have been driven from my home, my clothes are in tatters.
Many are the creditors who pursue me without mercy.
The criminals sleep well and enjoy peace,
They are satisfied and exercise power in their prosperity,
Whilst my aged mother supplies food for my house.
The young men give me alms and my family is silent.
There is none to deliver me but You.
You alone are my source of supply.
The world economy is an illusion that I do not buy into,
You are my Shepherd and my daily bread.
Lord, the wicked enjoy the respect of their children
And have honour among their families,
They supply for the needs of their own.
My children are dispersed and have become other peoples joy.
They live in strangers houses because I cannot provide.
Lord God, help me to understand,
To accept my trial would be easy, if only I knew why?
My soul is tortured and drowning in questions,
Is this a trial? Is this your judgement? Is this a curse?
Help me Lord to understand.
I do not ask for restoration,
Only that we have fellowship,
So that I may drink from the well of your presence.
My faith is fractured and my hope evaporating,
What has befallen me does not happen in a normal life.
I do not rely on any goodness on my part,
I have nothing that will draw You to me.
All that I have left is the blessed assurance,
That He is able to keep that which I committed unto Him.
Without Jesus I am already in Hades.
I have hated my life and prayed to go home,
I have despaired even for my salvation.
I feel helpless, hopeless and hapless,
I am discouraged and perplexed on every side
Lord God Almighty deliver me. Remember me.
My God, I feel abandoned and rejected.
Like a child who is separated from his mother
In a cold dark and hostile world,
If I am allotted a portion in hell,
I will be there glorifying Your Holy name.
Do I deserve this misery? Yes, and much more.
But I have an Advocate oh Lord,
His name is Jesus; the Christ in my tongue.
He will plead my case before my enemies
Please have mercy on me, lest I die.
All praise and honour belong to You
Your magnificent glory delights the universe.
Who else is there in whom I can trust?
If not You Lord, then extinguish my being,
For You are my God, and without You all is darkness.
This was written one evening when it seemed that I was going to die from all the stress and misery I had been experiencing. It was a tough time for me personally, in 2001.
I lost EVERYTHING.
Among many other things I lost my place of fellowship, my marriage, my house, almost my entire Christian library containing many hundreds of books and my business. Every single appliance that I had either broke, or simply stopped working.
The washing machine, the toaster, the stove, the hot water heater, the lawn mower, the tea kettle and much, much more. I was 12 hours away from being literally on the street with my remaining furniture. I had mentally prepared myself to sleep in a make shift tent in the bush until I could find a place to sleep safely. Fortunately someone kindly offered me temporary accommodation.
Then on September the 11th I saw the first tower in New York in flames. As I watched the second plane struck the second tower and I knew that the world would change from that day on. Somehow my life’s experiences seemed connected to the 911 event.
So what is the point of all this?
The point is to tell you this: Through your darkest hour, God will not, will not, will not abandon you. It is literally impossible for God to let go of you. It is through this period that I claimed the following passages as my own:
Romans 8:28-39:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can beagainst us?
32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33) Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Ephesians 3:18 says that we “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height...”
The word comprehend in the Greek is Katalambano.
This means to seize, possess and to take eagerly. A better way of saying it would be to “...apprehend with all saints what is the length, and depth, and height...”
The trial I faced made me apprehend Romans 8:28-39 as my very own. I lived this Scripture because I chose to make it personal. Not just something written in a book. I made a conscious effort to take the Scripture and make it mine. To live it and breath it as part of my very being.
If you are going through a trial right now my dearest brethren, I PROMISE YOU, that if you take God literally at His Word, He will deliver you and restore you according to His timetable.
LET GO AND LET GOD.
Does this mean that you just give up?
Does this mean that you stop trying?
It means that you work WITH God by being obedient no matter what it costs you.
Stop trying to fix things from the flesh. Submit to the Scriptures and surrender your every moment into the hands of Him who has promised to carry you through. We are always trying to fix the situation ourselves.
For example let’s consider Job’s trials. Job said: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15).
God does not lie! If He says that He will preserve you and NEVER abandon you He means just that. Take it as that. Take God at His Word. Doing so is a step in obedience. It is true that faith is believing God in spite of the evidence. But you must believe God in spite of the inconvenience.
I know because I have been there.
God bless you and sustain you.