How many of us yearn for God amid distress and anxiety? Not many believers are likely to say they don't pray for God's mercy at such times. The believer and the unbeliever experience sicknesses, material poverty, lies, hurtful jokes, persecutions, and other afflictions. That's the world we live in and what we encounter no matter who we are or what we believe.
For believers, the result of such temptations is that we end up feeling abandoned by God. Why do we suffer so much distress and anxiety? Doesn't the Lord care about us? What about all His promises to help and protect us, and never forsake us?
The unbeliever will search for relief from temptations in worldly prescriptions and pleasures. The believer searches for answers in the promises of the One who can bring true lasting peace in mind, body, and soul. Hannah, for example, the prophet Samuel's mother, in her prayer said, "The Lord kills and makes alive. He brings down to the grave and brings up [to life]." (1 Samuel 2:6-7)
The Psalmist finds a similar answer, that He recounts (in Psalm 42) when he writes, "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God." (Psalm 42:11, NKJV)
There's an opportunity every day to reflect on the psalmist's words. Every day we are tempted to question God's loyalty to His promises. Each day we are like the proverbial deer that pants for water and only God's Word can provide us with refreshment. As we struggle with temptations and feelings that maybe this time God isn't going ahead, beside, and behind us, our refreshment is given to us by God's promises that His lovingkindness will be with us by day and His song of salvation will be with us at night. (Psalm 42:8)
God knows our need and that's why He provides that which refreshes us, Jesus Christ. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, took to Himself our distresses and provided the refreshment with His death on the cross. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never thirst. But the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)
Jesus gives us the water of Life so that we never have to thirst for rescue or hope. We may yearn for our Lord amid distress, and we may even question whether He cares about us when we're tempted by others to ask, "Where is your God now when you need Him?" But, whether we experience sicknesses, material poverty, lies, hurtful jokes, persecutions, and other afflictions, Jesus always comes to us with refreshment, the water of Life, His baptismal grace, and peace.