We meditated about forgiveness in oppression last week. Often, when we are in suffering and experiencing oppressions, they painfully last for a long time. Even in prayers, the suffering doesn’t end quick enough for us and we find ourselves enduring a lot. Just like the scripture reading today, we are not exactly in a pleasant time.
Sometimes, we even feel like in Psalms 13:1-2, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”. The sorrow, the sadness and the depressive thoughts are very real, they give us lots of distress.
But God has not forgotten, He has not forsaken His own people. In fact, He remembers, and He keeps showing loving kindness to His people, to us. The loving kindness that God shows to us is more than just saying “I love you”. Loving kindness is a rich, unfailing love from God, where He never fails to be with His people, He is the Emmanuel God who helps the helpless. When we know God is still good and loving to us, we will understand Psalm 13:5, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Yes, God’s love is unfailing, He never fails to keep us and be with us!
Just like the days of Exodus, God’s people were enslaved in Egypt. Just like the days of Jeremiah, when there was threat of exile and oppression from Babylon. God heard His people in Exodus, and God did not forget those who belong to Him in Jeremiah. Yes, sometimes we are still disappointed, and yes, we have sorrows. Yes, we stood waiting for good to happen. We seek answers, but there is God, the God who delivers and does His work. He might not give us the answers we ask for, but He delivers us. May we learn to depend on His power and works.
When Jesus stood in the middle between God and his people, when the redemption of the cross was done, the curtain of the temple was torn asunder. The presence and power of God was then made available to all who would come in faith. Their mourning would be turned to laughing. “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14-16). We can forgive because Lord Jesus has reconciled, we can forgive because Christ has made peace, the peace is now in everyone who believes, that is us.
- Have you got any “how long” questions for God? How can you remember His loving kindness?
- What do you seek in the Lord for you, for your surroundings, and for the world? How do you seek not to fulfil all your doubts and questions, and how can you desire for God’s will to be done even in difficult situations?
- How can you rely on Jesus Christ, receive power from Him to forgive?
Response to God
May we open our hearts to God’s loving kindness, and draw strength of forgiveness from Christ, that we will have the full joy and peace.
Lord, when the hour is dark, when we feel hopeless in the dark, even when we have no one to turn to, help us to remember your loving kindness. We will not forget your salvation, we will not lose hope in you. Help us to find hope and strength in Jesus Christ when we are suffering. Help us draw strength from you, so that we can forgive others. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, amen.