Holidays are tough.
While there should be joy in your heart, you find instead an ache, or even agony, in your soul.
Ever been there?
What do you do, where do you turn, when you’re in the dark?
Seek the presence of God, before you seek the provision of God.
Stay with me.
In Psalm 43, the psalmist is experiencing darkness, ache, and agony. Four times he cries out, “Why?”. Yet, he’s not just crying out “why,” but “why” to God ! In other words, he’s praying! He’s seeking God.
He prays then for God’s provision. But notice he’s not praying that God provides a way out of the darkness and agony. Rather, he prays God lead him deeper into His presence. He knows that God’s presence, more than His provision, is His hope:
“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!” (Psalm 43:3).
What are God’s light and truth? First, it’s God’s Word (Psalm 119:105; John 17:17). Second, Jesus Himself (!)—the light of the world (John 8:12); the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
In your darkness, go to God’s Word. Pour your heart out to Jesus. Through the Word and prayer, ask God to give you spiritual light—wisdom, clarity, strength—in your dark circumstances.
But he’s not done.
He seeks even more of God’s presence! He prays: “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God” (Psalm 43:4).
Where might you encounter God and His exceeding joy?
• Through prayer (Psalm 42 & 43). No matter what, you can always pray.
• Through praise (Psalm 43:4). God meets you in your problems when you declare His praises.
• Through His Word (Psalm 119). Meet with Him consistently, not just in crisis.
• Through tears (Ps 56:8). Don’t waste your weeping, offer it as worship.
• Through “a sign for good” (Ps 86:17). Pray for a sign of His goodness in the midst of your darkness, then pay attention!
• Through Christ (John 14:6, Ps 43:4b).
The altar of God in the Psalmist’s day points to the altar of today: The Cross. Jesus Christ crucified. Resurrected. Returning. Reigning.
On the cross, Jesus experienced the ultimate darkness and agony—forsaken by God (Matt 27:46).
Jesus endured the cross for you so that in the darkness you get His presence with you.
Faith, my friend. Trust.
God’s provision will come in due time. But it will come while you seek His presence.