Echoes From the Campfire

When corruption is visited upon the cities of men, the mountains and the deserts await him.  The cities are for money but the high-up hills are purely for the soul.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Galloway)

    “’If you will return, O Israel,’ says the Lord, ‘Return to Me; And if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, Then you shall not be moved.'”
              –Jeremiah 4:1 (NKJV)
When you look at this country do you grieve, cry inside?  How about your life, are there  tears wanting relief from the Lord? Perhaps the following Echo and study of the Psalms fits the situation in the world and/or you life.  God doesn’t make mistakes and the Spirit will talk to hearts.  I willingly admit that much of what I am using today comes William and Randy Petersen.
    Praising the Lord and thanksgiving is usually what we think of when thinking of the Psalms, however there are more than fifty psalms that are laments.  What is a lament in the Psalms?  

     1)  Addressing God with a cry for help.
               “Listen to my prayer, O God.  Do not ignore my cry for help!”  –Psalm 55:1
     2)  Referring to God’s blessing in the past or to his character.
               “O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask your aid.”  –Psalm 86:5
     3)  Describing the cause of distress.
               “They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting ways to harm me.”  –Psalm 56:5
     4)  Confessing trust and confidence.
               “You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my place of safety.”  –Psalm 59:9
     5)  Asking God to hear and deliver.
               “Please, LORD, rescue me!  Come quickly, LORD, and help me.”  –Psalm 40:13
     6)  Further questioning and petitioning.
               “Please, don’t punish me anymore!  I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.”  –Psalm 39:10
(taken from The One Year Book of Psalms, New Living Translation for scriptures)

    A lament “is a psalm in which the psalmist is troubled and seeking deliverance.  He is going through a time of physical, spiritual, or emotional distress, which may be caused by something within him or by something outside of him, such as an attacking enemy.”  
    There is a cry to God for help and in these “he displays his confidence that God will hear and answer him.”  There may be praise for the coming answer.  There is also often no resolution but only faith that God will answer and help.  Look at today, are you grieving for this country?  It should hurt our heart at what is going on.  How God is mocked, how the past of this wonderful nation is scorned.  There should be cries of lamentation.  (In fact, a good reading for the week would be Jeremiah’s book of Lamentations.  See why the prophet is crying, and his faith in God.)
    “Like the psalmist in ancient times, we encounter difficulties and struggles and need God’s help.  Sometimes our problems are brought about by our own sin.  Other times our problems are physical in nature.  Still other times our problems stem from some emotional difficulty.  Whatever the case, the psalmists have shown us that we can cry out to God and express our distress.  We can do so with confidence that God is listening and will reach out to us.”
    Sometimes God “blesses” us with a lament.  That may seem strange, but there is a time to grieve and cry.  That you recognize that and that you thank God in the midst is itself a blessing.  Knowing that God is there is a blessing.  He is always there to hear your heart’s cry.

              “Jesus knows all about our struggles,
               He will guide till the day is done;
               There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
               No, not one!  no, not one!”
                     –Johnson Oatman