By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
What a sad story! I'm sure we all know what it's like to be so discouraged that all we can do is sit and wish for the "good old days." While this is a natural response, it is not a good response. Self-pity will get us nowhere.
If we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, we are not of this world. Therefore, we are in a strange land. So, if we were to follow the example of Israel, we ought to just hang up our harps, forget about the Lord's song, and spend the rest of our days mourning our plight in life. Does that sound like what the Lord would want us to do? Of course not!
My pastor once made the comment, "Our circumstances in life will change, but our song shouldn't." AMEN!!! No matter how bad life gets, God is still good and still worthy of our praise. So often, though, when we're faced with hard times, the only song we want to sing is "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen." Wrong! God knows, and He cares.
I don't like hard times any more than the next guy, but they're part of life. I've faced my share of troubles and trials in this life, and I'm embarrassed to say that a good number of those times, I hung up my harp, buried my face in my hands, and gave myself a glorious pity party. You know the problem with pity parties? I'm the only guest! What fun is a party without guests and presents and of course, cake (chocolate, if I have my way)?
The point is that God is good all the time. Even if we're going through hard times, and we don't understand the path that God has for us, we can still sing Him a song. He loves to hear our songs, especially when we're in a strange land. It blesses His heart to see our love and devotion to Him. So, stand up, be strong, and hold onto that harp. You're going to need it!
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. - Psalm 136:1