Singing to the Lord is a significant means of ministering to our own souls in times of suffering. That’s one reason why we are so drawn to the Psalms, and why Suffering and Singing is a fitting title for a little book that walks us through Psalm 44.
This Psalm was written by the sons of Korah, who were musicians. After reminding us that Psalms 42 and 43 both end with a message of hope, but no end to their suffering, John Hindley writes, “God is in charge, Christ is Lord and so when terrible suffering comes we cannot pretend it has nothing to do with him. We must either run from him—shaking our fist in bitter agony, and hating the Jesus who brought such evil and hurt into our lives, homes, families and hearts—or we must run to him in hope, trust, faith and love. Psalm 44 shows us how we can do this.”
Here are a 5 lessons which Hindley draws out for us to remember in times of pain and heartache.
Keep your pain set squarely in the context of God’s faithfulness and love. The sons of Korah reminded themselves of the love of God for His people. “God’s love is the care of a husband and the compassion of a father, not the fickle feeling of a romantic teenager.”
The kingship of God is a great comfort. “He is a king who sweeps into battle to save his people. He sweeps into battle to save you. His victories are not won to merely prove his might; they are won as an outworking of his love for those he rules.”
Suffering causes us to feel slaughtered by God and, therefore, draws us closer to Christ. “As you suffer, you begin to feel something of what Christ felt; your heart begins to beat along with his. This is where we begin to see why the Lord might give such suffering to his people, to you his child. It is a door to seeing his love for us.”
The pain of suffering often produces a desire to run from God and suffering, but instead we need to run toward God. “The impulse to run is right, but we so often run the wrong way. We should run to the Rock, to our Refuge and Shield: Jesus. He is the one who helps us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Suffering is not a mark of God’s indifference toward us, but the opposite. The message of Psalm 44 is this: “God has sent our suffering for his sake. We do not suffer primarily because we may have sinned; we suffer because we are his. Suffering is not a mark of God’s indifference towards us, or his hatred of us. Suffering is a mark of his love for us. It shows us that we are his….This is not easy to take hold of, and we need to stop and pray for the Spirit’s wisdom and the eyes of faith. But the terrible pain of your present, ongoing and suffocating suffering is a mark that the Father loves you.”
Suffering and Singing is a blessed little book that will encourage your heart and stir your faith. I recommend you read it. Its nine tiny chapters serve as a devotional guide through Psalm 44.