Day 35 - I Trust You, God!

Day 35 - I Trust You, God!

Written by: Pat Hardin

    Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.
Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach,
especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances: those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have been forgotten like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many, “terror on every side!”
as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!  Psalm 31:9-16 (ESV)

    Have you ever been in distress? The kind of distress that whispers in your mind and heart that there is “terror on every side?” (v. 13) Perhaps it was the doctor’s diagnosis that you had some terrible, irreversible disease or illness, or perhaps it was a phone call informing you of the loss of a dear, loved one. Maybe your terror took the form of flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror,     or a collect call from the county detention facility from your child. I have experienced some of those terrifying calls, including the one from my mother the day before my 35th birthday, when she confessed to an inoperable tumor that would take her life one month later. I have been the victim of false accusations, the recipient of letters threatening to repossess my home, and other such terrifying news that I choose not to remember or address publicly. Privately, I have lamented and cried out to God, much like David has in Psalm 31. It is apparent that Jesus and Stephen both had this Psalm in mind as they departed this world and referenced verse 5, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” I pray regularly that I am able to maintain that level of faith and commitment as I depart the earthly realm for an eternity in Heaven.

    If you are feeling depressed, sorrowful, exhausted, forgotten, or broken, please know that God understands how you feel. King David, a man after God’s own heart, wrote this Psalm during a time of great tribulation, and expressed those exact same feelings. Following this time, God used David to unite His people and build the nation of Israel into a superpower in the known world. David led the Israelites to defeat their enemies and overcome their inner turmoil as he called them to worship the One, True God. David recognized that our lives are in God’s hands to do as He wills, and if we trust Him, then He will use our lives to glorify Himself and build his kingdom. If a man like David experienced these negative emotions, then why are we surprised that we often feel the same way?

    As I stumble along the narrow path of righteousness, tripping over my own insecurities and stumbling over my inability to see the Hand of God in my circumstances, I must remind myself that God is shining a light for me to follow, if I will raise my eyes to the Lord and see His light. Verse 16 describes that light as emanating from the shining face of God, who will save us in the end. I must not focus on the bleak circumstances around me, I must trust in God and His undying love.

    What about you? Will you disregard the circumstances around you and focus on God’s shining face of love instead? I have been feeling a little depressed recently, but then I met someone who has experienced terrible loss in the past year, yet she chose to come and visit one of our community groups. Alone, feeling neglected and forgotten, awash in sorrow, this person questioned how God could take so many of her close friends and family in the past year? I wept with her as I felt her grief; I prayed with her and encouraged her to leave her house, even though she felt like she was “a reproach” to her neighbors. She accepted the invitation to join one of our groups and experienced unconditional love and acceptance from the group members. Although I was the one who had been feeling a little depressed, watching our church family welcome this person rejuvenated me and filled me with hope. We can make a difference in someone’s life if we walk in the light of God’s love and allow ourselves to be led by His Holy Spirit. Doing so will not only help others find the love of Jesus, it will enable us to walk in His light and love, as well. The joy we feel is the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit.

    Write down the negative influences in your life that may cause you to feel depressed, unworthy, or powerless. Take that list, confess those feelings to God, and ask for his forgiveness and restoration. Now burn that list!!! Thank God for His many blessings as you profess your belief in His undying love for you.

    Oh, God…please take away my iniquities and cleanse me of my negative, depressing emotions. Please help me focus on your shining face, your Heavenly light, and your faithful, eternal love. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.