‘Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.’ (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5 NRSV)
5 Why am I discouraged?
Why am I restless?
I trust you!
And I will praise you again
because you help me,
and you are my God. (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5 CEV)
I am aware that many of our Federation sisters around the world are coping with difficult experiences right now. Some are grieving the loss of a loved one; some are adjusting to life- threatening illness; some are supporting those close to them who are coping with difficult decisions, broken relationships or challenging mental health conditions. Many are living through personal and national crises of economic or political nature; of health issues including Ebola, of war and internal conflicts, of natural disaster through flood, or drought, storm or earthquake, leading to famine or homelessness. Many women and girls are vulnerable to violent treatment by family members or strangers. Many are separated from those they love and feel lost and alone. How far we are still from God’s kingdom of justice and peace!
There is so much to make us feel discouraged and downcast.
And yet we are encouraged to give praise to God who comes alongside us in our distress and reassures us that through Christ, evil and pain and death are overcome.
I praise God for the signs of divine love in everyday miracles of new life and new opportunities for service, declaring the greatness of God who still overcomes evil and can turn the most despairing event into a cause for hope.
I praise God that we are a praying community of women, actively responding to the needs of others, willing to work for the kingdom because we know Christ and want above all to make him known to others.
I praise God that the church world- wide is still committed to reaching out to those in need as Christ taught us. I praise God that the Methodist church family still responds to the call of John Wesley to do all we can for the needy in God’s world.
So we can pray:
Faithful God, forgive us when we get easily discouraged. Help us to distinguish between those difficulties we can repair and those events beyond our control. Show us how to place our trust in you and follow Christ’s example of commitment to your way. Help us to find rest in you and to praise you in whatever situation we find ourselves. For you alone are God. With you all things are possible. In all situations we can trust you. Amen.