Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Monday, January 23, 2012

~ Read Job 19-20  Text, Audio

Lord God,

My family, friends, co-workers, and classmates: everyone fails me, but you never will. Though they think, they are being supportive, they only inflict more pain with their careless, and callous responds. They don't understand what they're doing, but their poorly chosen words and harsh responses pierce my heart like an arrow. I think they mean well, but sometimes I wonder how they could treat me so poorly yet think they are being so helpful.

Can’t they see the how stressed I am? Have they forgotten how I sacrificed to encourage them when they struggled? It’s not like I don’t see my own mistakes or recognize my sin. I know what I’ve done wrong. I know I've sinned against you, and others; so I don’t really need them to remind me of my past failures and mistakes. It only stirs up my guilt and shame, and that’s not what I need. I need is comfort and encouragement.

I know they believe they are better than me. I realize they think I have a long way to go. Indeed, I do. I know I'm not the person I should be, but I also know I'm not the person I once was. For unlike before, now I know you are there and would never abandon me.

At one time, I would have said you were an unjust, merciless, vengeful God, who cared nothing for his creation; but now, I see your sovereignty over all things. I see your justice and grace, even in the troubles I face. While I can’t say that I enjoy my struggles, now I face them with confidence knowing you will carry me through— whether you do so through some supernatural working of your Spirit in my life, or through the support and encouragement of your church, your people. One way or the other, I know you will not leave me to struggle alone, because of your great mercy and compassion.

In my darkest moments, I confess that sometimes I still wonder where you are in my sufferings. I wonder why you seem silent. When my troubles overwhelm me, and I’m lost in despair, I wonder if you are punishing me, or why you don’t do more to rescue me. Though I know you love me, sometimes the troubles fill my heart with doubt; but just when I think, I won’t survive; you respond to my cries for help, and my hope is restored.

Lord, please don’t remain silent for too long. Please don’t leave me in the darkness. I don’t like the way hopelessness feels, nor the things my mind is tempted to think when I’m there. I don’t like that way the enemy attacks my faith with lies about you, and questions about whether your word is true. I don’t like the way he uses the people in my life, even those that I trust, to cause me to doubt your love for me, so I need you to make him stop.

Stop the lies he tells me and convinces me to believe. Remove the guilt he stirs in my heart. Block the doubt he piles on me because of my sin, and help me to see the cross, on which my Savior died, to renew my soul, redeem from my sin, and restore me once more, to you.

By the power and authority of his great name I pray, Amen.