September 07, 2017

Thanks in Times of Trouble

Psalm 9

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

—  Psalm 9:9

Psalm 9 begins with thanks for all of God’s wonderful deeds, including being a refuge for the oppressed.

Where does your mind go when you think of oppression? Mine goes to the prison in South Africa where Nelson Mandela spent years behind bars because he wanted justice for oppressed people. I visited that prison and saw Mandela’s cell. It’s hard to fathom a person emerging from that place with the hope and fortitude to keep fighting for justice. But what Mandela professed is that he was not alone during his imprisonment. There was a stronghold he could rely on in his time of trouble. His stronghold was the God of justice, who “rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.” When Mandela was finally freed, he praised the God who does not abandon us in times of trouble.

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” They “sing the praises of the Lord” and “proclaim among the nations what he has done.” God wants to lift up all who are burdened by oppression. The prophet Isaiah declared about the coming Christ: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice” (Isaiah 42:3).

May you know that the God of justice who has come to us in Christ is your refuge today.

Lord God of justice, receive our thanks for being our stronghold in times of trouble. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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