“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.” Psalms 32:10 KJV. What a joy and comfort this is for God’s children, to know we are surrounded by the mercy of God. While the sinner will suffer as the consequence for his sin, the soul who trusts God and forsakes sin will be protected by the great mercies of a loving Heavenly Father. When we are tempted by sin, we should ask ourselves, “Do I want to step outside the mercy of God and bring on my life the tragic consequences of sin, or do I want to trust and obey God, and remain in the shelter of His mercy?”. When we live a life of faith and trust in God, that means everything that touches our lives, even the difficult things, must come through God’s mercy. And His mercy will always work things for our eternal good. God’s mercy will transform the ashes of our lives into beauty that will glorify Him. Let us come daily and bow before the Cross of Jesus, where we can sing, ‘Mercy there was great and grace was free…’
“He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
Micah 7:19 NKJV. It is a wonderful thing to know that God, in His great mercy and compassion towards us, chooses to forgive our sins and forget them. Whenever we truly confess and repent of sin, He casts them into the sea of forgetfulness, never to be remembered again! But as wonderful as that is, we still need something more. We need more than just forgiveness for past sins. The reality is, we need some way to keep from sinning. We need some power, greater than our own, that is able to conquer the power of sin over us. We need Divine power, the almighty power of God Himself, to come into us and subdue all of our sins. And how blessed we are, to know that this promise has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ! What a joy to know that Christ living in us, is greater than all the power of sin against us. And may God help us to understand, there is no one but Jesus who can do this. We will never become good enough, wise enough or strong enough to subdue our sins. To know that God will do this for us, is one of the greatest evidences of His grace and mercy. Let us thank God, that Christ in us, will vanquish all sin.
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die…” Revelation 3:2 KJV. In this time of apostasy and falling away that we are living in, we must be very careful that we are not carried away by the spirit of this age. Whether it be in the nation, congregation, home or individual life, we must take great care to strengthen those things that remain. These are the words of Jesus which we need to take heed to. He is telling us that even though people fall away, even though truth is laid in the dust, even though we may have failed in some areas personally, yet it is not the time to give up or give in to discouragement. We must stand upon the truth we know! We must build up that which has fallen into ruin. We must strengthen those things that have become weakened by neglect and misuse. By God’s grace, let us hear the words of our Lord and earnestly watch over and care for our spiritual lives! And let us pray fervently for those who have fallen away that God’s Spirit will breathe afresh upon the embers of their spiritual life. As we heed the words of Jesus we will have hope. He is the God of restoration. Through His grace, let us strengthen those things that remain.
“O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful…” Psalms 31:23 KJV. David understood that what God desires from us most of all is our love. He knew that a relationship based upon anything else would always fall short of what God wants and what we need. As important as it is to have faith and trust in God, Gal. 5:6 reminds us that we need a ‘faith that works by love’. A proper fear and reverence for God is necessary, but it will never produce the relationship that we need with our Heavenly Father. And certainly obedience is necessary, but again it will not please God until we obey because we love Him. And as much as God’s Word calls us to believe, trust and have faith in God, those will always fall short of a relationship based on love. Because you can trust someone without loving them. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote that ‘Love is the greatest thing of all’. We must know in our hearts that God loves us, and then, as we open our hearts to His love, we will be able to experience what John wrote about in 1 Jn. 4:19, ‘We love Him because He first loved us’.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent (clever) in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21 KJV. Many of God’s people are worried today about the rise of evil men, almost as if God takes no notice of it. We sometimes act as if they are just allowed to go about their evil purposes without any reckoning. But may we remember, God Himself has already pronounced woe, or judgment, upon evil and every soul who continues in their sinful ways. No one is going to get by or continue long in their wicked ways. There is a payday coming! But our part is to keep our eyes on Jesus and our lives in a place where we are not among those evil ones. Today in our world, good is called evil and evil held up as good. From abortion, to gender issues to politics, the world is praising things that God calls wicked. And we can be sure that God will have the final say. But may we be careful, that we are never among the evil crowd, or sympathize with those who condone what God has condemned. We should always love and pray for their souls, but must remain far from their evil ways.
“The Lord also will be a Refuge for the oppressed, a Refuge in times of trouble.” Psalms 9:9 KJV. One of the most unrealized consequences of sin is, that it brings us under the cruel oppression of satan. People do not realize when they choose sin and their own selfish ways that they are yielding the authority over their lives to the evil one. And he is a cruel taskmaster always pressing us down, pressing everything good out of our lives. But what a joy and relief it is when we come to Jesus and find sweet peace and rest! When we come humbly to Him we find such rest for our souls that the psalmist describes Him as being our Refuge. A refuge is a place of security, safety and strength. It is a hiding place where we can escape the oppression of outside forces. It is a place of peace and calm. So even as we live in this evil world, where the forces of evil try to oppress us, and troubles rise against us, we have this wonderful privilege, to come and abide in Jesus Who is our Refuge. May we submit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and experience the great blessing of having a Refuge for our souls, and experience His strong and gentle care over our lives. Then we will discover why the songwriter penned the words ‘No one ever cared for me like Jesus’.
“For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.” Psalms 26:3 KJV. In this world that is so filled with sin, and discouraging news seems to confront us everyday, how can we live as the writer describes here? How can we walk in truth when the deceitful ways of sin are luring almost everyone around us down the wrong road? This will only happen as we make a determined effort to place God’s Word before our eyes every day! More than anywhere else, it is in God’s Word that we see His loving kindness to us. In His Word we see the love of God in Christ reaching out to and coming down to a fallen and needy world. In God’s Word we discover the truth of God’s love and the truth that we need to walk in. And then, as we leave our place of reading His Word, we must determine to ‘think on these good things’! We must not allow our minds to dwell in the misery and discouragement of this sinful world! By God’s grace, we must bring those negative thoughts into captivity and focus on Who Jesus is and what He’s done and what He promises to do! This is how we can walk everyday in truth.
“…I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.” Psalms 26:1 KJV. We live in a time when many are ‘back-sliding’. They once followed Christ closely but now have slid back to a place of following afar off. They once had a fire in their souls but have slid back to a cold and shallow experience. To be sure, it is a dangerous place to be spiritually. But thank God there is hope of being restored. But also, there is a way that we can live where we will not slide backwards. David, here in this verse, describes how to keep from sliding backwards spiritually. It requires us putting our trust in God and then keeping our trust in God! It means we trust in God in the good times and we trust Him in the bad times. We trust when His blessings are very real to us and we trust Him when the blessings seem to be gone. And one of the things many seem not to realize, we not only trust Him to save us and forgive us, but we must trust Him every moment to lead us and guide us, in all of the choices we make. We must trust His strength and not our own. We must trust His heart of love towards us, that assures us every command and precept, every warning and promise, He has given to us for our eternal good. Let us fully trust Jesus and we will never slide back.
“His soul shall dwell at ease…”Psalms 25:13 KJV. We’ve written about the previous verse (12) for the past two days. And as wonderful as these few words are, they mean nothing until we personally connect them to verse 12, in our daily lives. The only man whose soul dwells at ease is the man who fears and honors God. He is the humble soul who is willing to be taught and led by God, in the path that God chooses. And what a blessing that is when we do as verse 12 says! What peace and rest it brings to our soul! What ease it brings to our heart and mind! Just to know, that because I am being led by my Father in Heaven, nothing that comes against me will ever harm my soul! To realize, because I am walking in the path He chose for me, there is never any reason to fear what the enemy can do! Hallelujah! Do you desire to be delivered from fear and worry, to lay down each night with your soul at ease? Then follow the instructions in these verses. Come to a proper fear and reverence for God, then humble yourself to be taught and trust Him to lead you.
“What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.” Psalms 25:12 KJV. Two of the things that God seeks to do with each of His children is to teach them and lead them. He longs to give them spiritual knowledge and understanding so they can be led in the right way. But let’s ask ourselves an honest question: “How much am I willing to be taught and led?” The reality is, no one can be taught when they think they already know enough. No one can be led who thinks they already know the right way. In fact, the only person that can be taught and led is a humble person. Verse 9 says “The humble He guides… the humble He teaches His way.” This means the person who looks to God as their Teacher Who knows and understands things that they do not. They see Him as their Guide Who knows the right way. And as the first part of the verse says, they fear God and thus, fear going against His instruction, because His knowledge and wisdom are perfect. Let us be those humble children of our Father, who are willing to be taught and led by Him. As we do the words of the song will be ours, ‘He leadeth me, O blessed thought’.