Thursday, February 28, 2008

Words of Encouragement

my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me. – Psalm 13:4-6

Can God be Trusted? His unfailing love. This is not a long psalm. In fact, it only has six verses. This psalm of David starts differently than the one yesterday. The one yesterday started off with praise. This one starts with the psalmist asking, how long will you forget about me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts, have sorrow in my heart and be defeated by my enemy?

Does the psalmist lack faith in God? Some of us would say yes it shows a lack of faith. However, I would like for us to look at it a little differently for a moment. We read of the psalmist yesterday rejoicing even though there was trouble and now in this psalm we see the psalmist troubled and questioning when will this suffering cease? What it shows us is ourselves. There are days when we are confident in what God can do and we start off in praise even though our situations are nothing to shout about. Then there are days when the pressures of life have weighted us down so much that we simply don’t think we can stand any longer.

This psalm gives us a good example of what we should do when we are having one of those days. It is okay to ask God, when will this end? We can seek God to ask him, will you answer me and we can talk to him about our troubles and how we feel about them. Do you know talking to God about how you are truly feeling is what he wants? He doesn’t expect us to come to him with a false joyfulness, because if we do, how can we receive his true joy? He does not expect us to come to him with a false peace because we then block the door to receive his true peace. Instead, God expects us to come with our raw, transparent emotions and talk to him about them.

The psalmist in these verses says his enemy rejoices over him because he believes he has defeated him. Yet the psalmist makes a great proclamation after listing his woes. He says, BUT. What preceded the “but” was all his concerns and worries, and what came after the “but” was what he was deciding to do about it. See you and I can talk to God about what our concerns are and he want fall off his thrown because we have some issues. However, he does want us to be like the psalmist and say, but in spite of it all, I am going to trust in you. I can trust in you because your love never fails. It will uphold me even in the midst of my situations, circumstances and issues. Your love will give me the strength I need when mine is worthless against what I face. You will give me joy when I can find none inside. You will give me peace that passes all human understanding. Why do you do it? It is because you can be trusted to give us your unfailing love.

Today I pray for us that we talk to the Lord about those things heavy on our heart and know that he has a listening ear. And when we have finished telling him about our problems, let us put a big “BUT” behind our list. So that we can say, but regardless of what I face, I will trust you. I will wait on your unfailing love to sustain me.