trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight. [psalm 119:143]
life is filled with trouble. if we could sit and fill a book with all the troubles of all the members of our body, it would take a lifetime. some trouble is caused by our own sin. our sin is brought to light and we reap the consequences, or perhaps it is still hidden, and we become riddled with fear of being found out. some trouble is caused by the sin of others. some trouble is caused by life circumstances. some trouble is long lasting, and we see no end in sight. some trouble is deep and painful, leading our heart and stomach to churn in anguish.
in our moments of trouble and anguish, what is our greatest desire? sweet relief. i’ve done my share of crying out to the Lord to take away my pain and sorrow. i’ve done my share of bargaining with him to remove my burden in return for more righteous living. i’ve done my share of seeking relief in other ways when it was not granted immediately. to get lost in distraction, television, busyness, ministry. but none of these can delight us in the midst of our trouble and anguish. trouble and anguish will find us out.
the psalmist is offering us the truth of delight in the midst of trouble and anguish. it is God himself. his commandments, his word, his ways, his presence, his glory. and we have continual access to all of these by the precious blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
and this is why we have trouble. that we might turn to the presence of the only One who can bring delight. that we might cry out to the only Source of our relief. that we might cling to the Savior who bore all of our trouble and anguish through his own on the cross.
so today, in the presence of your God of steadfast love who delights in you, bring your trouble and anguish. maybe it’s current trouble, maybe it’s past trouble you haven’t dealt with, or maybe it’s trouble you anticipate in the future. confess it to your Father, and let him wash you in the delight of his Word. he wants you to turn to him, for he is the source of all peace and joy!
you make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. [psalm 16:11]