Monday, April 27, 2009

Trustworthy Father, Mighty to Save!

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Alone? Bruised? Beaten up on by the world? To whom do you turn? Have you already learned life's hard lesson that there are very few genuinely trustworthy people with whom you can share your deepest wounds and sorrows?

Some people seem to have an easy time sharing their struggles and difficulties, while others, like me, don't. The existence of this year long Bible journey's public format is, in fact, quite a departure from my normal M.O. because in it I have disclosed many very personal ponderings and failures.

The truth is though, I realize that we all have junk--stuff in our lives that causes us to doubt ourselves, distrust others, and sometimes even doubt God. So what does God think about us when we find ourselves flailing and failing as we struggle to make sense of the things that seem senseless? His love endures forever. (Psalm 136)

Much can be learned from King David, who although he held the highest position in all of Israel and is regarded to this day as one of history's greatest figures, struggled with personal doubt, confusion, persecution, and pain that probably makes much of what most people endure pale in comparison.

Today's scriptures are all Psalms. In chapters 65,66,67,69, and 70 David praises God and also transparently expresses the sort of raw emotion that one who has been run through a ringer backward might feel.

What a blessing to know by virtue of the example he provides that we can confide in God, trusting that he will never betray us and that his forgiveness and mercy is available to all who cry out to him in their time of turmoil. Like King David, we can talk openly, honestly, boldly to the One who understands and comforts knowing that His unfailing love guards even our deepest secrets and fears.

Hear the cry of a man after God's own heart and learn of a Lord who is Mighty to Save!

Psalm 69:
1 Save me, O God,
for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
2 Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
and the floods overwhelm me.
3 I am exhausted from crying for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
waiting for my God to help me.
4 Those who hate me without cause
outnumber the hairs on my head.
Many enemies try to destroy me with lies,
demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.
5 O God, you know how foolish I am;
my sins cannot be hidden from you.
6 Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated,
O God of Israel.

Psalm 66:
16 Come and listen, all you who fear God,
and I will tell you what he did for me.
17 For I cried out to him for help,
praising him as I spoke.
18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But God did listen!
He paid attention to my prayer.
20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer
or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

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