When Life Deals a Bad Hand

          When playing the card game Bid Whisk, it’s important to be dealt a hand full of either high cards or low cards. Each player must look at the hand she’s been dealt and project how many books she can win. Then each player bids or announces her projection. If she has lots of aces, kings, queens, and maybe a joker, she’ll project that she can win 4 or 5 books of high cards. If she has aces, twos, threes, and maybe a joker, she’ll guess that she can win 4 or 5 books of the lowest cards. The worse hand to be dealt is a bunch of sevens, eights, and nines.

          Sometimes it feels like life has dealt us a bunch of middle cards. No matter which way the bid goes, our cards are going to lose. But wait, that’s unless our sevens, eights, and nines are trump cards. If clubs have been called as trump, our middle numbers can beat an ace of some other suit.

          In Psalm 77:1-15, the psalmist was feeling like he’d been dealt middle cards and his life situation was causing him to question whether or not God was his partner. Look at verses 1 – 9:  

  • I cried out to God with my voice– to God with my voice; and He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah. (NKJ)

         Wow, that’s a bad hand: the soul refusing to be comforted, the spirit being overwhelmed, can’t sleep, so troubled you can’t speak. This person even had little faith in his partner and asked, “Has God’s mercies ceased for me? Has God forgotten me? Has His anger completely cut off His mercy?

         But when we look again at our hand, we have trump cards. Our trump cards are listed in verses 10 – 15:

  • And I said, “This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; you have declared Your strength among the peoples. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. (NKJ)

          We play our trump cards when we remember what God has already done. When we can’t find reason to rejoice in our current situation, our recourse is to play these six trump cards:

  • Remember the works of God and His wonders that He has performed in the past.
  • Meditate on all His works.
  • Talk of His wonderful works.
  • Stand on who we know Him to be (He’s in the sanctuary, He is great, and He does wonders).
  • Declare His strength to people.
  • Realize that regardless of what’s going on, we have been redeemed.

         And don’t despair; you have a Partner who has already played the winning cards atCalvaryon your behalf. And He continues to play them at God’s right hand as He makes continual intercession for you (see Romans8:34NKJ). God’s love and mercy are not shut down. You just play your trump cards and watch how you and your Partner will win every time.


©2012 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.



~ by sanewriter on June 22, 2012.

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