Originally Posted on December 5, 2014
Everyone has those bad days that seem like the end of the world. Today, in my family’s advent reading, it was about Noah (Genesis 6:5-8) and how he found favor in God’s sight despite the evilness of the world. We talked about that no matter what, we try to lean on ourselves, our desires, our idols, instead of God, and in the end we fall.
We fall, but God is right there to catch us.
How many times have we leaned on ourselves and fallen hard, hurting ourselves, not even noticing God was there catching us every time? How often in anger do we silence our communication with Him to lash out, in the end hurting ourselves?
God’s heart breaks at our selfish desires and actions. God says to a hurting world, a hurting person, “I love you,” in the midst of our chaos and pain. Isaiah 49:15-16 says “Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. 16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” God promises so many times that no matter what we do, no matter what people do to us, no matter what ever happens, He will always be there, always love us, and always be there to catch us when we fall.
Bad days come as floods, quick and overwhelming; and we have the choice to lean on ourselves and drown or trust God as He carries us above the waves.
(“You Carry Me”- Moriah Peters, “Oceans”- Hillsong United, “Need You Now”- Plumb, “I Am Not Alone”- Kari Jobe)
In Matthew 14:31, Jesus says to Peter who begins to sink, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” How many times do we start to lean on ourselves, sinking further into the waves because of our lack of faith?
Doubt is taking your eyes off Jesus; but He is always there beside us no matter what we do. (Psalm 34:4)
“Oceans” by Hillsong says it the best way possible: “You call me out upon the waters (Matthew 14:28-29- 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.) … In oceans deep, my faith will stand. (Matthew 14:31- 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” ) And I will call upon Your name, and keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace (Matthew 14:30-30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”) For I am Yours and You are mine (Matthew 14:33- 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”) … Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders, let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior (Matthew 14:29- 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.)
All of this goes back to a lack of trust in Christ. Do we fully trust Him?
Psalm 25 addresses this trust issue perfectly:
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. 3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths. 5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. 6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord! 8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. 11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. 12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. 13 His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. 15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. 18 Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. 19 Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. 20 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.”
I just wanted to share with you some of the things I got out of this chapter:
verse 2- Do I fully trust God? Trusting Him with one thing, but not the other is the equivalent to not trusting Him at all.
verse 3- “none who wait for you shall be put to shame”: It is great to remember that waiting is a good thing; and those who wait for the Lord will never be put to shame- such a comforting thought! (Psalm 40:1)
verses 4 and 5- In these verses, the psalmist, David, is asking God to reveal His plan to him (David) and to teach him (David). How often do we ask God to reveal His plan to us? How often do we sit still and wait and listen to God speaking to us?
verse 7- “remember not the sins of my youth… according to your steadfast love remember me” : This verse is clear and simple. David is begging the Lord not to remember the sins he has done, but to see His own steadfast love when He looks at David (an early picture of how God sees us through Christ and doesn’t see our sin)
verses 8 through 10- God is good and upright. He leads us to Him- to what is right. He teaches -His way. His ways are love and faithfulness for those who keep his covenant.
verse 14- If we fear the Lord, we have a friend in Him. He is always there. He is our forever friend, never leaving or forsaking us, always loving us no matter what.
verse 16- David felt lonely and in that loneliness, he called upon the Lord asking Him to be there- which He already was. This is such a comfort that He hears us when we call to Him and is already there.
I learned, and continue to learn, so much through this one chapter of Psalms. I learn about trust, God’s character, and that others have gone through what I am feeling. It is a great comfort to know that God is always there with me no matter what I do!
During those seasons of doubt, lack of trust, and flooding, keep your eyes on Jesus and not yourself, and remember that He will always be there to catch you when you do fall.