“But the needy will not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.”
Psalm 9:18 NIV
Fierce thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes have recently ravaged portions of our nation. Uprooted trees and air-born roofs appear as minor inconveniences when compared to those whose lives have been snuffed out by the power of the unrelenting wind and rain. In the aftermath, a deluge of news reports described the helplessness and hopelessness felt by the loved ones of those sacrificed to the tempest.
Locally our spiritual, emotional, and physical resources were tested as a forty foot wall of water raced down the Blanco River under cover of night and washed away homes as families slept; helpless against the powerful assault of the raging water.
How do we reconcile the hope promised in God’s Word with the cruelty of life’s circumstances? How does a father who loses the struggle to save his wife and two children from the raging floodwaters wait patiently or have expectation for his future? How does a young couple beginning their family look forward in hope-filled anticipation after all their belongings are washed away? When we face the reality of life’s worst, how do we believe for God’s best?
When we feel we are going to perish, when our heart has been destroyed, or when we have lost courage, how do we hang onto hope?
Trust God. Seek God. Believe God.
Psalm 9:9-10 reminds us that the LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, the hurting, crushed, dejected, humbled, contrite, broken; a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know His Name will trust in Him, and He will never forsake those who seek Him. He is our hope. We are also reminded that God does not ignore the cries of the afflicted—the helpless.
In verse 18 David reminds us “the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.” Therefore, our hope is not found in our world system, our government, or other people. Although they may come to our aide in times of distress, our ultimate hope is found in God alone.
God’s resources are never depleted. His patience never runs out. He never grows tired of my trial. He will not forsake me when the journey to recovery is long. He will neither forget me nor desert me. He is the reason for my hope. He is my hope. I will—Trust God. Seek God. Believe God. I will hang onto hope.