I love the beautiful reminder in vs. 3-4 that when we seek the LORD, we will always find a reason to rejoice.
But as I kept reading, I kept seeing all the reminders to remember all His wonderful acts, and His wonderful faithfulness, and to tell all the nations about what the LORD has done. And it goes on to tell the story of God's chosen people, from His covenant with Abraham;
to when He led them to the promised land;"He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.” "
Throughout the Psalm, it tells the beautiful story of God working, a large portion of the first part of the Bible condensed.43 He brought out his people with rejoicing,
his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
45 that they might keep his precepts
and observe his laws. Praise the Lord.
But it got me to thinking. Looking back at it all, there is none who can deny that it is a powerful story which shows the faithfulness of the LORD. But what about in that time? We know there was a lot of heartache, a lot of discouragement that was felt every step along the way there.
They wandered around from nation to nation, they were strangers in all lands. How discouraging must that have been?! But we can clearly see that He protected them the whole time. He prepared for them the land in Egypt, where they were to live for many years.
When Joseph was sold by His brothers, and all that happened to Him in Egypt, including being sent to jail for something he didn't do, it would be easy to say that it was all wrong. But one of my favourite verses is from Genesis 50, when Joseph is talking to his brothers, and he says: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Think of all the hurt. But God used it to save many, many people from the famine, and to bring His chosen people to high positions in Egypt.
But then they became slaves in Egypt; we'd say the story's gone wrong. The Israelites must have felt abandoned by God, they must have wondered if they were ever going to be free, going to get to the promised land. But looking back now, we know He was working all things together for them.
And He sent Moses and Aaron to lead the people. Through them He did many signs and wonders. He sent the ten plagues. And through that, the people left Egypt laden with silver and gold.
And then they wandered around in the desert. We know the Israelites had a lot of problems during that time. Think golden calf, think lots of complaining. But honestly, if I were in that situation, I really couldn't say if I would've been much better.
He provided well for them in the desert;
And still, they were discouraged, and they complained!! But we know that God was faithful to them.40 They asked, and he brought them quail;
he fed them well with the bread of heaven.
41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed like a river in the desert.
If we can look at that story of God and the Israelites, and see that despite of, or even through, the discouragement of the people, God worked a miraculous story of love, then we should not doubt that He is doing the same to us even when we are in the middle of days of discouragement.
He worked all of the story of Joseph for good - maybe, somewhere in your life, someone intended something to harm you. But God is working through that, redeeming it, using it to bring good. He led them through the desert, He fed them manna and gave them water from a rock (hello?!! food from the sky?! water from a rock?! does that not blow your mind??!), God is giving you great and amazing gifts all the time. Will you choose to complain anyways (like the Israelites did, they got tired of manna pretty quick), or will you choose to let the miracle blow your mind and be thankful to the LORD for leading you and providing for you.
So today, whatever discouragement you are walking through, remember: in the middle of the story told in Psalm 105, it looked like a lotta heartache. But when you look at the whole story, it's beautiful. The same is true for yours.