Plea for Grace

Archive for the ‘Meditations’ Category

Psalm 13:1-6 CSB – 1 How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me? 3 Consider me and answer, LORD my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death. 4 My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance. 6 I will sing to the LORD because he has treated me generously.

David is hard-pressed. He is smack-dab in the middle of tough circumstances. His reputation is at stake. He doesn’t see a way out. He cries out to God, but only hears silence.

“God, please, I just want a good day. I just need some hope. I’m not even asking for deliverance; just a dose of hope so I can proclaim that Your word is true, and that You are faithful.” Did you notice that David did not ask to be delivered from his circumstances? He asked for hope; he asked that he would not give his enemies cause to think that they had ‘won’ or that God was irrelevant.

And then the statement that declares that God has given him hope . . .

I have trusted in your faithful love — past tense, already settled

my heart will rejoice in your deliverance — looking with hope (expected certainty) to the future; even if physical deliverance does not come in this life, life eternal with God is a certainty

I will sing to the Lord because He has treated me generously — because of hope I can praise. Even when life is hard; even when God seems silent (though because of hope I know He is never ‘not there’); I am His child and he has (and will never stop) treated me generously

“You’re not necessarily grateful for the circumstance you’re in, but you’re grateful for the God who helps you get through that circumstance. You’re grateful for the God who gives you joy. — Elisabeth Elliot

How can I not have joy and gratitude! God is Immanuel (God with us); I am his child; He is sovereign.

Psalm 120:1-7 CSB – 1 In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. 2 “LORD, rescue me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue.” 3 What will he give you, and what will he do to you, you deceitful tongue? 4 A warrior’s sharp arrows with burning charcoal! 5 What misery that I have stayed in Meshech, that I have lived among the tents of Kedar! 6 I have dwelt too long with those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. 

Lying lips

Deceitful tongue

Meshech and Kedar (foreign, often barbaric tribes who were hostile enemies of Israel)

Those who hate peace

Is it any wonder that the psalmist is in distress (trouble, affliction, adversity)?! Have you been there?

family relationships strained and/or fractured by lies, deceit, misunderstanding

social media that seems to look for a fight

hostility from the culture

hostility and arguments within the church

even — here it comes — the lies I choose to believe about myself, about who God is, about His sovereignty and His work in this world

Where do we go with this distress? Verse 1 — call to the Lord . . .

Psalm 25:4-5 CSB – 4 Make your ways known to me, LORD; teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; I wait for you all day long. 

God’s ways, God’s truth, God’s instruction, God’s place of refuge, are in His Word. I don’t read and study His Word for some self-help, magic potion, entitlement. No, I meditate, memorize, read, study because I want to know the God who made me, the God who saved me, the God who loves me more than I could ever imagine. He created me; He knows what is best for me. I want to learn His ways. I want to know the truth. I want to know how to obey Him.

As I become “transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2),” like the psalmist, I become more aware of the effect of my surroundings, my relationships, where my time and energy is spent.

This proverb came to mind:

Proverbs 13:20 CSB – 20 The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm. 

No, I am not saying, go hide out in a little cabin, totally cut off from the world (although, the introvert in me sometimes thinks that wouldn’t be such a bad thing). Actually, having godly relationships is vital to combating the Meshech and Kedar, the lying lips and deceitful tongue, the sharp arrows, etc. Ask God to show you how to be a godly friend, and then watch how He will bring friends/family in His timing. But here is the best friend, the most loyal, the most true, the perfect friend who you will always have:

Psalm 25:14 ESV – 14 The friendship* of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

*Strong’s H5475 – cowd — intimate friendship, tight circle of friends. Some translations use the term ‘secret counsel’

And, in all honesty, take a cue from the psalmist. How much time and energy are you spending with the constant war that is social media? For me, it meant deciding to spend time in the Word and prayer before opening Facebook and Twitter. . . and holding up my feelings and “truth” to the light of God’s Word and deciding that I will believe God.

It’s not fancy — but God is faithful. He is holy. He is right.

Psalm 18:30-31 CSB – 30 God ​– ​his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God besides the LORD? And who is a rock? Only our God. 

And praise Him, He has rescued me . . .

 

 


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