The writer of Psalm 102 was having a bad day – to put it mildly. The first 11 verses catalogue his despair, anguish and loneliness. These are things we all feel and it’s good to know that we can bring them to God. We don’t have to pretend that everything is fine because God knows better and knows exactly how we feel.
Trusting Him doesn’t mean we have to ‘stuff down’ the way we feel and deny that we hurt. What it does mean is proclaimed in verse 12
But You, O Eternal One, remain forever,
and Your name endures to all generations.
It’s because this verse is true that the writer isn’t just shouting out his pain into emptiness. He addresses the Psalm to the Lord, to the Eternal One, to the great I AM, to Yahweh who sees him. He knows that the God whom he worships has all things in hand and that the day will come when God will rise up again and remember His love for Zion Psalm 102:13
The Psalmist, despite his despair, knows this to be true and clings to it. It’s this truth that turns the psalm from the catalogue of pain to an anthem revealing God’s righteousness and the justice that He will bring.
We all go through times when we feel the world is against us. We all have situations and relationships that overwhelm us – that we can’t make sense of. At best they provoke and annoy us and at worst they threaten to tear down and destroy us. But we can be encouraged by this psalm in its honesty and vulnerability.
Encouraged? Yes because we can remember like the psalmist that God is there and that God is good. We can remember that God, the Eternal One is abounding in mercy, slow to anger and rich in love. We can remember that He has told us to call Him our Father and that as our Father He has promised to care for us. We can remember that even though the world and all that is in it, including us, will wear out and pass away He is unchanging and all His promises still stand and are fulfilled in Jesus our Saviour.
There is such comfort in knowing that we can come to our Father exactly as we are with our pains and troubles, with our frustrations and anger and cry out to Him for mercy. There is such comfort knowing that He isn’t angry with us when we do that but instead we can regain balance by recognising that He is still God no matter what circumstances we face.
It’s the understanding of this truth that enabled David to cry out that God was his fortress of safety. This is a truth that we can also stand on not because God always removes our problems but because He reminds us that He is greater than them.