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Singing Psalm 102 you learn to cry

Your teacher brings you a lesson that you are reluctant to learn. Because some of Jesus’ words must be carefully considered to be understood, rather than pursuing to learn how his teachings apply to your life replete with the nuances, it is easier to stay in the darkness and go along your own path. Living without understanding, you survive but don’t thrive.

Singing Psalm 102, you perceive that a worthy goal for the New Year is to strive to put your hope in Christ alone. You learn to cry for his path rather than to remain on your own or anyone else’s. Jesus, the Word of God, is a lamp unto your feet, a light unto your path. When you have sinned and when you have been sinned against, he takes you by the hand and teaches you to express your heart and to do no harm in the process.

If you are in a spiritual battle, how can you learn to fight in it from those who are not in Christ? You learn to cry to Jesus to help you to make observations and distinctions about both the spirits and the people who would influence you. Many claim to have the answer to what will make you feel better, and some might be skilled and quite gifted at making you feel better. Only Jesus will make you actually be better. Jesus is Lord over your feelings. Eventually your feelings will also follow Jesus when you do.

“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” ~ Hebrews 5:7

Without shame, without bitterness, without pride, and with purity of heart, in the presence of your Father who cares for you, you learn to be vulnerable with him. When your very thoughts condemn you, learn to cry from Jesus, for Jesus, and to Jesus.

How do you get behind learning the lesson without succumbing to despair?

The more you know the teacher, the easier it will be to trust your teacher that the lesson will be useful. That it will help, and in some way down the line, it will be good. You learn to cry in the midst of your lack of trust and lack of hope, to recalibrate with hope in God against hope as you wait.

“In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, ‘So shall your offspring be.’” ~ Romans 4:18

If you will rejoice in the Lord always, you will first have learned to cry from, for, and to him. 

Singing Psalm 102 you learn to cry from God as he breaks you down to seek him

You learn to cry from Jesus.

“To this my prayer, O listen, LORD;    And let my cry for help reach You.In time of grief, hide not your face,    Incline to me Your list’ning ear;And answer quickly when You hear.” ~ Psalm 102:1-2

You learn to cry earnestly as you wrestle with God this intensely and this honestly. 

Part of the way to learn to cry to the Lord with both honesty and fear (reverence), involves an unlearning of crying in anger, disapproval, or in hopes of manipulating to get what you want. Jesus breaks you down from being disgruntled so you can learn to cry without sinning and trust him to lead you where he directs you.

Who enjoys feeling unacceptable, weak, or cowardly? Crying is certainly not for the successful self-made man or woman. Or is it? If there is actually no such thing as a self-made man or woman, if you were actually made by God, a steward of the gifts he gave you to be successful, then it is the most natural thing of all to learn to cry over the separation from God that happens when you live as if he did not make you or give you those gifts. It is acceptable, strong, and courageous to admit that you have thought, felt, said, and done wrong, be humbled that you cannot correct the wrong yourself, and receive the free gift that Jesus paid for you to enjoy. 

You learn to cry tears of sorrow before you acknowledge that the Lord will answer well, like David. You learn to cry silent tears as you seek God’s face to work out your faith in his righteousness with fear and trembling as you wait for his promises, like Abraham. You learn to cry tears of joy after you are certain he will do well for you and your family in spite of how things presently look, like Hannah.

Most of all you learn to cry from the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the wisdom of God, infinite and omnipresent, reverent, lowly, and gentle, who takes everything into consideration and does all things well.

“And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’” ~ Mark 7:37

He even makes those who would shout you down to force feed you on how right they are into those who would learn to cry to Jesus for help to be lowly, gentle, and holy before attempting to communicate a word to you.

    “I will get my knowledge from afar        and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.” ~ Job 36:3

You see sadness all around you, and your heart is aching. You come to your breaking point asking God to move each sad one to himself and to help you release self-reliance. He slows you down long enough to see the good in putting off your independence and putting on complete dependence on him. You learn to cry to him alone to equip you to be his servant, to help in whatever way possible as far as it depends on you as you depend on him to reveal it to you.

He frees those who would say they are lonely, withering, and doomed to die. The Holy Spirit prompts you to learn to cry to God with faith, with godly sorrow, and with repentance. Singing Psalm 102, those feelings find a place for hopeless, lonely, sorrowful seeds to be planted in the Lord’s garden yielding hope, fellowship, and salvation at just the right time.

Your heart is crushed when you begin to comprehend Jesus, roused with compassion, as he lifts you from your broken down, flimsy, rickety boat that left you baseless on the open sea that would sooner or later have drowned you.

“Zion the LORD will edify;    He in His glory will arise.And when to Him the needy cry,    Their pleading He will not despise.” ~ Psalm 102:16-17

Your tears testify to your needy state before the one who won’t despise them. You learn to cry genuine tears from the heart when you think back to the times you allowed yourself to be influenced by those who would corrupt your heart. Crocodile tears have run their course—manipulation is not an option anymore. Not that you ever could move God to act against his will, but you want to be truthful in your cries to the one you now adore. Self-righteousness melts away with the tears as you learn to look for Jesus’ righteousness to be imputed to you as he makes you holy for himself.

God uses for your good even those who read his providence and sovereignty wrongly in your life. Although you might feel more alone than you could imagine, your desire to seek and find God is not a solitary one as you greatly want to bring those you love with you—if at all possible— for them to draw near to God along with you.

You move from being a solitary bird to becoming a social one.

“Now I am like the pelican    That dwells in empty wilderness,The owl that roams a barren land.    I’m like a bird, awake at night,Perched high up on a lonely height.” ~ Psalm 102:6-7

“Roused with compassion, You will stand;    Kindness to Zion You will show.The time has come which You have planned;    Your gracious favor she will know.” ~ Psalm 102:13

Job’s friends understood some correct things about God but because they misapplied them to Job’s life, they showed that they didn’t understand God’s essence. They read God’s ways like a newspaper rather than like a love story. You learn to cry through the twists and turns of unrequited love. Satan was sure Job didn’t really love God but only the stuff God gave him. By taking it all away and recording what happened, all people can know that it is possible to love God and want God not for his stuff but for himself!

Just before Job‘s final appeal, he poured his heart out to God whom he thought did not hear his cries. He thought God was cruel and that he was persecuting him. In his appeal, he cited those times when he cried for the misfortunes of others and offered help. Why wasn’t God doing that for him?  As you learn to cry, you learn to care what God thinks and to care about the plights of others alongside your own. Like Job, you learn to cry and patiently wait for God’s compassion to be roused and for his answer. And you find out, as Job did, that God was compassionate the whole time.

    “I smiled on them when they had no confidence,        and the light of my face they did not cast down.    I chose their way and sat as chief,        and I lived like a king among his troops,        like one who comforts mourners.” ~ Job 29:24-25

You find yourself pleading with the Lord on behalf of others that the Lord would have mercy on them too, the very thing only Jesus came to do. The Lord forgives and takes back his adulterous people as he directed Hosea with Gomer.

The bridegroom comes at last for his bride and wipes every tear away from her eyes.

Singing Psalm 102 you learn to cry for God as he builds you up to find him

You learn to cry for Jesus.

You ask that God help you put off independence from him and put on reliance on him. You learn to cry when God loosens the trap you have been stuck in, the habit of going it alone.

You learn to care more about what he thinks than anyone or anything else. Yet the Lord God fortifies your other relationships so that they thrive. You learn to cry when you consider how you have built relationships without his supportive scaffolding and have watched them fall apart from the inside out.

    “And he said to man,    ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,        and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” ~ Job 28:28

He builds you up on a solid foundation: himself, the Rock of ages, whom you praise. Though the heavens and earth will change, God never will. This changeless one has chosen to invest himself in you. With the Lord as your anchor, you and your children will be secure for generations to come. As you sing Psalm 102, you learn to cry for those not yet born that they would also sing his praises. Indeed, they will.

Every time a tormenting situation crosses your mind, you see it for what it is, and you learn to cry, “but Lord” (Psalm 102:12). You learn to cry with reverence from Jesus. You learn to cry for Jesus to be with you and the others in the suffering. You lay the situation before God as did King Jehoshaphat and Nehemiah when facing threats. You learn to cry to Jesus with faith that he will without a doubt make it completely right.

“Let this be written for the sake    Of those alive in future days,So people He has yet to make    Will to the LORD lift up their praise.

    “But You are ever more the sameBecause Your years will never end.    Your servants’ children will endure;Their seed before You is secure.” ~ Psalm 102:18, 27-28

Singing Psalm 102 you learn to cry to God as he silences you to rest in him

You have learned to cry to Jesus.

Once you have learned to cry from Jesus and to cry for him more and more, your new and wonderful habit will be to cry to him.

When selfish thoughts threaten to take over your mind, you cry to Jesus that he would work good in the lives of those you thought to avoid. You cry to Jesus that he would bring unity out of separation. You cry to Jesus to heal the wounds with his perfect love that drives out the fear that causes division and estrangement. You now sense his constant protection because you have learned to cry to him in every relational situation.

This is what it looks like to come to Jesus for rest. Mary learned to do this, and when her sister, Martha, objected, Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better way and that it would not be taken away from her. Martha, who had been busy doing less important things, eventually got it, and it wouldn’t be taken away from her either. No one can take away the Lord Jesus from you. Nor can anyone take away the rest that he gives you. Jesus will enable you to serve in far better ways when you depend on him than you ever could on your own.

Once Jesus has your heart, you are willing to give it away to anyone who would receive it. The Lord will credit you for your willingness to love those from whom you are estranged. He only expects you to be faithful and willing. You will know when he gives you the gifts and the opportunities to restore or to rebuild those relationships from whom you have become separated. Meanwhile, he credits you with what you would do if there was any possible way to do it.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Submit your feelings to the Lord. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

As the Lord would have it, affliction is not something you stay in but something you pass through. This is why when you come to Jesus you find rest.

You are not stoic; your emotions are awake. There’s no pretending you don’t feel what you feel or want what you want. You have learned to cry to God to meet you where you are and transform your feelings and desires until you feel what he feels and want what he wants.

Job knew the preincarnate Christ:

    “For I know that my Redeemer lives,        and at the last he will stand upon the earth.” ~ Job 19:25

  Elihu refers to the preincarnate Christ:

  “For truly my words are not false;        one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.” ~ Job 36:4

Elihu points out Job’s response to his suffering after it wore on him awhile:

    “Take care; do not turn to iniquity,        for this you have chosen rather than affliction.” ~ Job 36:21

You are not demanding; you know your place. You don’t pretend that you are the sovereign ruler of the universe and must have things go your way at all times. You have learned to cry out to defer to God’s supremacy with joy. You welcome words from friends who help you find strength in God.

God, himself, is such a friend:

    “Or who shut in the sea with doors        when it burst out from the womb,    when I made clouds its garment        and thick darkness its swaddling band,    and prescribed limits for it        and set bars and doors,    and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,        and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” ~ Job 38:8-11

You are not doubting; you hope all things. Namely that God will give what seems good to him, believing that he rewards those who seek him and that those who fear him and trust his love are pleasing in his sight. 

When something seems good to you or me, it might or it might not be good. When something seems good to God, it actually is good. You have learned to cry out to the matchless triune God, that he will treat your tears with tenderness and satisfy you with his love.

Perhaps he will answer your plea as you are requesting, but if not, you trust that his compassion requires that ’no’ to be pregnant with hope and love. You have learned to cry not only for peace and rest, but for the God of peace who is not safe but who brings you rest under his wings on the greatest adventure beyond what you can imagine. You learn to cry like Daniel and his friends in the face of hungry lions and fiery furnaces. Those young men who would not worship the image were thrown into a fiery furnace and not harmed because Jesus was with them. You are comforted with his protection and are even joyful on the sometimes harrowing journey as you wait for his direction or redirection.

Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael would not worship the image because of their allegiance to the only true God. He is God and there is no other. Elijah made that clear. Throughout the prophecies of Ezekiel, the Lord emphasizes it. Those who are deceived into thinking it doesn’t matter who they worship need to learn to cry for allegiance to Jesus alone who is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the holy trinity, one God in three persons.

“And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.” ~ Revelation 19:20

You have learned to cry to God and find that he helps in such a way that is different from help you might get from anyone else. A human friend can provide comfort, service, and attempt to meet felt needs but is unable to even begin to meet the unspoken needs of which you are unaware. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are interceding for you to the Father expressing perfectly what you might still be clueless about.

“But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” ~ Revelation 21:27

    “Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;        be silent, and I will speak.    If you have any words, answer me;        speak, for I desire to justify you.    If not, listen to me;        be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.” ~ Job 33:31-33

God’s help is not general but laser-focused specific. You have learned to cry for his close and ever constant presence with you through your pain. The Lord Jesus, True and Faithful, fills the need that only he can satisfy; he desires to justify you and give you peace.

“And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!’ And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.” ~ Luke 9:35-36

You aim to be on a progressive track to imitate Jesus’ perfect ability to recognize and meet real needs with a meek and gentle heart. Jesus, who is with you, will do it through you as you have learned to relentlessly cry, fast, and pray from, for, and to him. You become silenced in his presence, and rest in him, with himand with all his people forevermore.

When you are accustomed to being a bother, in the way, where your closest relationships see you as an obligation at best, the love of Jesus stuns you. If you only earnestly come to him and trust him at his word, he would stay with you because he wants to. Even if your closest relationships abandon you, he would never leave you or forsake you.

Learn to cry from Jesus. He is reverent and holy and calls you to be. Learn to cry for Jesus. He has pressed upon you your constant need for him to be with you always. Having learned these, you have then learned to cry to Jesus. You now know that you can do nothing without him.

The Lord keeps your tears in his bottle. He will one day wipe away every loud, wet tear, and every silent, dry tear that you cry to him.

“Your servants cherish Zion’s stones,    Even her dust to them is dear.So foreign lands and Gentile thrones    Will the LORD’s name and glory fear.

“That Zion may the LORD’s name tell,    Jerusalem His praise record,When gathered are the peoples all,    And kingdoms joined to serve the LORD.” ~ Psalm 102:14–15, 21-22

June 25, 2022 – December 29, 2023


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