Briefing: The next time you find yourself in a spiritual battle, follow the pattern of this psalm and see what the outcome is.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 130.
On the Street: How often do you find yourself in a mess and think, “This is really good”? If you can think of a time when you have done this, you are in a good spot. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is the message of Psalm 130. Verse 4 says, “But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.”
There is an old saying, “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”. Sometimes I think the biggest part of our Christian witness is the way we react to life’s messes. This is one of those big things I believe God wants us to understand. If we truly trust Him and believe His promises, we can be confident and at peace in every situation. This is so easy to say and yet so hard to do. I have had great seasons where I was able to do this but I have also had terrible seasons when my focus was not on God but on the problem at hand.
The problems are usually other people and John 13:34-35 gives us Jesus’ words on how to handle them, “A new command I give you, Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” See how Jesus lets us know the importance of showing this love to others.
The writer tells us his immediate response to the problem is to cry out to the LORD. We have seen in other psalms where this is the first, and correct response. No matter how small the problem starts out, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, the first thought and action is to cry out in prayer to God. Have you ever heard someone say, “I didn’t want to bother God with such a trivial problem.” This is what the enemy wants you to think. He does not want you to ask God for help because he cannot defeat God, but if he can get you to try and handle the problem on your own, he knows he can take you.
Second, he confesses his sin, “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?” I have seen people who refuse to admit they have sin in their lives. Their pride will not allow them to confess. Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. All means everyone. There is not a single person who has lived a perfect life. I once knew a police officer who argued with me, saying he had lived a perfect life and had no sin. Even when we looked at each of the Ten Commandments together, he would not admit to ever breaking a single command. He later got fired for watching pornography at work.
The psalmist repents of anything that might get in the way of God’s forgiveness and mercy. In Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus tells us, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
We cry out to God and repent of our sins. Now comes the hard part for impatient people like me. Verse 5 says, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word, I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” You would be surprised if you did a word search on the topic of patiently waiting on the LORD. It is a theme that runs through the Bible and a good lesson for us to learn.
Lastly, we are instructed to put our hope in the LORD. Sit back, have faith and trust. Our hope has to be firmly anchored in God.
Investigational Resources: Hebrews 12:11.
Officer Safety Principle: Turn your messes over to God and watch Him work them out for your good. These are faith building exercises that grow us in our spiritual maturity.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 2
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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