From God’s Word – The long-suffering of God towards us

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By Toni Ford

The Book of Psalms contains 150 chapters but is also divided into five books, or divisions: Book 1 is Psalms 1-41, Book 2 is Psalms 42-72, Book 3 is Psalms 73-89, Book 4 is Psalms 90-106 and Book 5 is Psalms 107-150. One of the more interesting features of these books is that each is separated by a doxology, a short prayer of praise located at the end of each book.

I recently was reading Psalm 107, the first chapter of the last book of Psalms. This chapter focuses on God’s long-suffering care of His people, and although the circumstances described in this psalm refer primarily to what Israel had to endure while in captivity, these same circumstances could be experienced by any of us, even today. The people were in desperate need of God’s help, either because of their own folly or because of circumstances beyond their control. When they called on the Lord, He was faithful to deliver them.

If we stop and reflect on the present situation of our world today, I believe most of us would agree that we, too, are in desperate need of God’s help. Psalm 107 describes at least four specific situations involving God’s people losing something valuable, in many cases due to their own foolishness. Yet as a result of His long-suffering towards His children, the Lord redeems what is lost.

When we lose our way and wander. In Psalms, verses 4-9, we read where the Israelites had strayed away from God, which led them to wandering in the wilderness to the point where they felt lost and homeless and became very hungry and thirsty. In the midst of the Israelites’ trouble, scripture tells us that they cried out, “Lord, help!” In Psalm 107:6 and 9, we see the result of their cry to the Lord, which says, “He rescued them from their distress. He led them straight to safety, to a city where they could live. For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

How many times have you felt lost and that your security was shaken, and your sense of belonging was gone and in need? I know I have been in those situations, and this psalm reminded me that Christ alone is my sure foundation. He will not only rescue me in my distress; He will go an extra step by taking me straight to safety, securing my identity in Him.

When we lose our freedom. Psalm 107:14-16 says, “He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; He snapped their chains. Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them. For He broke down their prison gates of bronze; He cut apart their bars of iron.” Is there anything in your life that you need to be set free from? Is there any relationship or habit that might have you bound up and placed in bondage? Be encouraged knowing that if you surrender that habit or relationship to the Lord, He can set you free. Nothing is too big or too powerful for our Lord, and only Jesus can bring freedom to someone who is imprisoned in sin.

When we lose our health. As previously mentioned, the Israelites did not always make the best choices. At times, this led to consequences that affected their health. Psalm 107: 20 says, “He sent out his word and healed them.” 

When prayed and spoken over our lives, the Word of God brings healing, for it is His very words to us, His children. Scripture goes on to tell us that as a result of God’s healing, the people offered sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. This is an important part of our healing – always giving Him the glory and thanking Him for His answers.

When we lose our hope. Psalm 107:23 says, “Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world.” While at sea, the Israelites encountered many storms and came close to, as verse 26 says “Their ships being tossed to the heavens and plunged to the depths.” Once again, the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and He saved them from their distress by calming the storm to a whisper and making still the waves.

Only God can bring a peace to the chaos! Remember, there are no hopeless situations in God’s sight, for He can do the impossible!

Lord, today we say “thank you” for your long-suffering, for hearing us when we cry out to you, and for your faithfulness to respond. We need you, Lord, and ask you to go before us today and keep drawing us closer to you!

If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at tonif77@gmail.com. I would love to pray for you!

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