Satan wants us to believe that we are who we are based only on the internal and external events of our life. That our life has been shaped and molded solely by our environment, culture, and all the trauma we’ve endured. For when we believe this, we’ll blame our parents, or our cultural upbringing for where we’ve ended up…rather than realizing that it is God who can shape our future…not the bad things that have happen to us in the past. Satan wants us to believe that our past dictates our future, and that generational chains cannot ever be broken off us. He wants to keep us in fear and doubt, accepting that we can never change. But if we’ll receive God’s grace and proclaim, “Yes, I once was…But God is willing and able to work in my life now!”… the Master Potter will form something beautiful out of that lump of clay we call our life.
When the relationship is toxic and abusive…no matter what we do, it’s not good enough. The Scripture in Romans, “Don’t repay evil for evil” rings in our head as we’re assailed with angry words. For many times this attack comes from a close family member who really needs our help…but also feels comfortable in using us to vent their frustrations. If we can take a step back and ask the Lord to see that person through His eyes…we can often get a completely different perspective of why that person is behaving as they are. It may have nothing to do with us at all, but rather in the person’s loss of control, declining health, or other personal problems they feel overwhelmed with. It’s then that we can humble ourselves and persevere…relying on God’s grace and mercy.
God is far beyond any boundaries of our minds, knowledge or expectations. As Job 5:9 tells us, “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” We’d have to then agree with Genesis 18:14 when it asks, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” The simple answer is, No…there’s nothing that’s impossible for God. For there’s not one thing He can’t do, change, fix, or accomplish according to His Will.
Distress comes in many different forms, and no one is immune to worry. But it’s how we approach difficulties and troubles that can make the difference between barely wallowing through them, and coming out the other side better not bitter. This Psalm gives us a blueprint or a road-map, if you will, when it comes to offering our supplication before the Lord. First we need to realize that when we cry out to God, He actually hears us. He’s not some far off entity… aloof and distant. Rather, God longs to hear our prayers and work in and through the troubles we’re going through. Next, He’s a just God full of kindness…He knows what we’re going through and wants to help. Finally, He’s a listening God. For when there’s no one else you can confide in…He’s always there.
Jesus asked Martha a pointed question in John 11:25-26 after telling her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” To know Jesus and believe in Him go hand in hand in both theses Scriptures. To truly understand someone means spending time with them…getting to know them well and developing a deep personal relationship. Kinda like when you met your future spouse…you wanted to know everything about them! And after a while, your trust and assurance grew as you got to know that person better and better…finally resulting in committing and entrusting your life together as a married couple. The same goes for our relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to know Him before we can believe in Him. For our faith can only grow out of our understanding of Him.
Where does your source of strength come from today? For many, it comes from themselves. They’ll proudly flex their biceps and proclaim how strong they are. But in reality, they’re not a match to cancer invading their body, or a stroke robbing them of their mobility. We arrogantly think we’re strong enough to withstand anything…yet we’re not powerful enough to stop our own death. As Zechariah 4:6 tells us, “It’s not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.” Our source of strength must come from the Lord and not from ourselves…for in the end our strength is nothing but a vapor before God.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows the secrets of my heart,(Psalm 44:21) and the way that I take.(Job 23:10) There isn’t one detail about us that catches God by surprise. For every one of our days here on earth are numbered and known by Him intimately. And as we walk in right standing before Him…even if troubles and hardships come…it tells us here, God will bless the impossible and grant mercy to the hopeless.
Godlessness can be very subtle, clever, and hardly noticeable to others. That’s because deception can be just as sly in twisting a truth ever so slightly…or planting a seed of doubt in an otherwise confident mind. For anytime we put our trust in ourselves…in our own way, we’re not putting our faith in God. We may think we’ve got this and don’t need God’s help, but Psalm 33:6 tells us that, “No king is saved by the size of his army, no warrior escapes by his great strength.” God is very direct in this verse in Hosea…if you purse godlessness, you will be destroyed. For anytime we put our hope in our own actions rather than God, we can but only reap trouble. (Job 4:8)
The 32 Psalm is called a Penitential psalm, where the writer, David, acknowledges his willful and rebellious acts of rejecting God’s authority. Within it David expresses his feelings of repentance and holy sorrow…asking God to forgive and remove his sin – and bless him. It goes on to say in verse 2 of this Chapter, “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” We will be truly blessed of God when we come taking responsibility for our actions and asking for forgiveness.