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.
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.
When Jesus came to earth He made the greatest sacrifice of self-abnegation and self-denial possible. He humbled Himself and renounced His Divinity. In other words, Jesus went out of Himself in order to enter into fellowship with us. So why are we so against doing the work to enter into relationship with Him? We’d like Jesus to just save, change, and sanctify us without lifting a finger in the process. Or we’d rather bargain with Him first – (“You do this for me first God, and maybe then I’ll start working on myself.”) The bottom line is that we also must go out of ourselves in order to enter into a right relationship with God…and waiting around until He does all the work in our lives (that we need to be doing) will never happen.
You may think you live a blameless and upright life, but it will never measure up before God. It’s not until you recognize that you can’t save yourself. No amount of right living and good deed doing will save your soul from hell. That’s because the only way to God is through Jesus…the only way to salvation is by believing that Jesus died for your sins…the only way to heaven is by uniting yourself with Jesus by faith. And this saving faith will never disappoint as you learn to trust in Him.
If you’ve ever seen oxen yoked together…you’ll see one thing quickly…they must move together as one. The yoke forces them to move in the same direction, even if they don’t want to. This hitch they are joined together by suddenly becomes a burden as they both pull in opposite directions. When we are unequally yoked with unbelievers, it soon becomes a wrestling match of the wills…a match between light and darkness…truth and deceit…with no one winning.
The simple answer to these questions is…we can’t. In our immoral human state, we are not innocent before God and in right standing with Him, and no matter what we try to “do” to become righteous we will fail, for all of our good works are like filthy rags in His eyes, (Isaiah 64:6) The only way we can stand pure before God is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, (that’s us) and to bear on His body our guilt and shame that we may stand before our Heavenly Father sinless and perfect…washed in the blood of Jesus.
Our journey with the Lord is just that – a journey. It’s not a stagnant, or stationary time in our lives when we just stand still… waiting. We need to be growing daily, pushing ourselves ever closer in becoming more like Jesus. And as we mature, we become established, full of Godly wisdom, and able to further the Kingdom of Heaven. For just like that first gleam of dawn, the light of God will shine brighter and brighter within us.
The Lord is a just and fair God. To the Believer and the unbeliever He is the same. To one there is reward, to the other punishment. To one there is requital, to the other, retaliation. Measure for measure it’s the same…paying back in full, in all righteousness… we all will stand before Him to be judged one day.
Walking on uneven and bumpy ground can be very challenging…and even dangerous. At anytime our feet can slip and we can fall. But if we stand on solid, level ground, we can walk with confidence, even if the path is shrouded in shadows. Our journey through life is like that…it can be either be smooth or rough…life or death, depending on the path we choose.