People across the faith spectrum have grappled with the notion of a just and moral universe. For the Hindu people, there is karma. For the Buddhist there is the constant interplay between yin and yang, two opposing forces which balance one another and keep the universe in equilibrium. For atheists there is the scientific notion of a deep, hard-to-perceive order within the chaotic randomness of the universe. Even rabid Star Wars fans will talk about the “Force.” For Christians, there is the notion of grace, and divine justice for all.
Yet for all the desire humans have to see justice prevail, in this world evildoers and malefactors often prosper. Greed seems to run unchecked. Crime goes unpunished. The rich stay healthy and the sick stay poor…this is not only accepted but often the goal of the powerful few. It is enough to cause the most faithful person to begin questioning—“where is God in all this?”
The Psalmist reminds us that by some strange work of grace in our lives, God is able to use thirst, hunger, adversity, and hardship to cultivate a deep longing for God’s presence. It is not that God is the cause of hard circumstances, nor does God sanction enemies to come against us. But God is at work when all these things happen. The voice we ignored when we were well fed and comfortable now comes to fill us spiritually when we are without. When all we have left is God, then God is everything.
The “Songs of Enduring Faith” series is based on lectionary readings from The Book of Psalms. This series explores the breadth of experience and depth of resilience found in God’s people, as revealed through their most central worship materials. Before the psalms were written and saved as scripture, they are first of all part of the soundtrack of God’s people. You’re invited to lean in, listen closely, learn the heart of God’s people, and receive the gift of these songs, for they are Songs of Enduring Faith.