It was a heated moment as tears trickled down my warm face. My heart had so many questions. Do I matter? Why am I going through these things? Sitting alone in the car with my mom on the phone encouraging me to keep on going even in those painful moments. My mom has been there for me in many of these occasions. I am so grateful that the Lord placed her in my life to point me towards the truth. Truth defined by the dictionary is “an undisputed fact.”(dictionary.com) The fact was I was sinking in my thinking but the undisputed truth is God was polishing my perspective.
Truth is the very thing I seek as a Christian because the Word of God is true. I want to be filled with the truth of God’s Words so I can renew my mind in moments of deep need. Lately, I am a very needy person because focusing on the truth of who I am in Christ and who God has created me to be (whether I am ok with who I am created to be or not) has been a struggle in the midst of present circumstances. Trials often test the limits of what I stand firmly on especially the truths I know about God and how it relates to who I am in Christ. My weaknesses become clearer in the midst of a string of trouble then on a day with little difficulty. In the after math of the storm, I am left holding a broken heart weighted down with loads of care. However, God wants me to understand that His truth is undaunted and unchanged by the winds of time. He uses broken vessels for His glory but I need to realize how broken I am before I can be mended. It doesn’t matter what I endure but how those things alter my heart so God is magnified.
I can never thwart Gods plans which is a very comforting fact to me, however, I have the choice to dwell on what is pure, right, lovely and truthful in the dark moments of the soul. (Philippians 4:8)
The Lord knows how my sinful nature needs changing so we go head to head or He comforts me in my deep need when I am humble before Him. Do my circumstances change? No. Does it come with a feeling of great abiding peace? No, not always. Truth comes to my heart when I pick up my Bible and start reading or Scriptures memorized are rehearsed.
During these moments, I tend to focus on the Psalms, James and Hebrews. (There are so many other books out there too!) These books are good for refocusing my heart and mind on the truth. The Psalms allow me to even start praising the Lord! (Praise dramatically changes your perception. I would encourage you to try it!)
The Bible helps me gain new perspective to see where I have been comparing myself too other “great Christians” who seem to have their life put together and never see hardship or where I believe a lie about something. Why is my perspective so difficult to change? Why does my heart remain stubborn and hard hearted instead of humbly saying, “Not as I will, Lord but as You will?” Every time I cry or try to cling to truth my burdened heart hurts all the more and relief seems to be a thing of the past. Some days all I can do is to continue to quote one Scripture passage over and over again to myself when my thoughts despair.
Why do I keep pressing on? I desire to be a woman who is faithful and fixed on what is true. Believing lies is tiring. Emotions seem to run deep in me and those emotions can easily give way to my pity parties (which I like to throw a lot of these kind of parties when I am self-focused on my circumstances) It always seems like self-pity and shame follow me everywhere I go yet the Lord has taken both of these thing upon His shoulders when He died. So as His child why is it so hard for me to believe the truth?
Through the Psalms, David continuously calls out to the Lord in a state of brokenness and a desire to seek after the Lord (who is truth itself) What did David have that I don’t when it comes to standing firm in the hurricanes of life?
Let’s look at some passages and discover a few nuggets of truth from the heart of a sinful man clothed with grace. Starting with Psalm 25,
“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way.
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth,
To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Your name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Who is the man that fears the Lord?
Him shall He[a] teach in the way He[b] chooses.
He himself shall dwell in prosperity,
And his descendants shall inherit the earth.
The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him,
And He will show them His covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,
For I am desolate and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses!
Look on my affliction and my pain,
And forgive all my sins.
Consider my enemies, for they are many;
And they hate me with cruel hatred.
Keep my soul, and deliver me;
Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.
Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all their troubles!”
Oh how I love these words of grace! David begins with lifting His soul up to the Lord. He asks for the Lord to redeem him out of trouble. As David looks to the character of God he sees the sinfulness of his own heart. He runs to the Lord asking for pardon. I am pardoned too!
“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him…” Fearing the Lord is to stand in reverential awe of who He is—the Almighty! It isn’t that you are scared to death of his wrath but that you are in complete stupor because as you gaze at Him you can’t help but be changed.
Sometimes my perspective is so off because I don’t remind myself about the greatness of the God I serve.
What a gracious act of a loving Father. He pursues, plants and gives me grace to grow where He plants me.
The amazing truth to dwell on here is because of the work of the cross I am no longer under the wrath of God! I can walk in truth with integrity and uprightness because God is making me into the image of Christ by the things I go through on a daily basis. My mother reminded me that I can’t counsel or comfort others without having gone through the same things myself. God in His infinite wisdom brings me through the hard place and will “redeem me out of my trouble” just like He did for Israel. My heart needs to dwell on the truth of God, who He is and who I am in relation to Him in order for me to refocus my heart and choose to please the Lord by obeying His commands to walk uprightly. David looked to the Lord in all things and was not ashamed. So even when the last thing I want to do is come before the throne because in my heart there is a difficulty that I am holding back, God commands me to bring my broken self before Him. He has already washed it away but He wants me to acknowledge it. Truth is my sin is ever before me and the troubles of my heart overwhelm me but when I look to the Lord I find the grace and mercy I desperately need. How encouraging to know I can run, stumble and fall towards the throne of grace. I can reset my heart on what is true and right even when I am in the midst of struggle.
How does the truth about trials change the way you view yourself and the Christian life? How does your perspective and knowledge of God deepen in understanding as you come to see it in a new light after or during a trial? How can you refocus your heart and mind so trials are shapers not breakers?
Emotions and truth clash when under trial or pressure. How can crying out to the Lord like David did renew our faith and trust when we experience difficulty?