Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2 Psalms, 1 God

I love David. No not like that. King David, by the way. Although I do have a friend named David that I love… anyways… I love his writings and his life. I relate so much to him.

I’ve been reading through the Psalms and today this struck me about Psalm 21 and 22. I’ve said in my journal entries before that it seems like every other page is a different emotional trip for me. Some days I’m super excited, happy, and at peace. Some days I sound so depressed. Well, David makes me feel a little bit better about myself, and a little more normal.

Let’s just look at the beginnings of Psalm 21 and 22 to show what I mean.

Psalm 21:1-2
O Lord, the king rejoices in your strength. How great is his joy in the victories you give! You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips.

Psalm 22:1-2
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.

It almost sounds like David is praying to two different Gods. One that is super attentive to him and gives him whatever he asks for, and another that doesn’t seem to care much about his needs and has perhaps even walked away from him.

So what does this tell us? Does David have multiple personality disorder? Is God playing some kind of good cop/bad cop thing?

What it tells me is that this is just real life. Sometimes your emotions will shift greatly from one page to another, because our days shift in their troubles from one day to another. Jesus even said it himself, “Each day has enough troubles of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

We must also remember that just because the days are changing and the seasons are shifting, it does not mean that God is doing the same. God is just as much loving David in Psalm 22 and he is in Psalm 21. He is just as faithful in Psalm 22 as he is in Psalm 21.

You can say, “Well, I don’t feel like God is being loving towards me, he won’t even answer me when I call out,” but just because you don’t feel like he’s loving you, it doesn’t mean that he isn’t. We humans can’t even begin to know what the full extent of love looks like.

Some days are easier than others, that’s just the way it is. But God is worthy of praise and thanksgiving in all moments and days. And maybe that’s what David knew better than most.

Psalm 22:26
“They who seek the Lord will praise him.”

Not praising the Lord much? You’re probably not seeking him. This was a very big shot in the chest for me. True worshipers worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23), not in feelings. If you seek the Lord you will praise him. So seek the Lord.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weak Strength

2 Corinthians 12:7-9
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

I think my anxiousness, frustration, and fear are pretty clear signs that I am not on the same tracks as God.

After spending some time repenting this morning, I realized just how weak I am. But God, being the wise and merciful teacher he is, showed me that I am just like he wants me to be: weak, and conscious of my weakness.

I know many people are the first part (weak), but finishing up the second part is where we can so easily miss it, as I have so many times.

A person who is not conscious of their weakness believes that the outcomes of life are based on their abilities and actions, not on God. They might be aware of God, and even give thanks to God for their blessings, but in their mind they think it was because of their hard work and determination, will power, etc… It always comes back to how hard they worked. I believe a person that is not conscious of their weakness asks many questions about how hard one is really trying with things in life, and makes more suggestions for them to do than they make offers to pray for them.

So many times I get so frustrated and discouraged, and the reason is that I have lost sight of the importance of my weakness and total dependence on God. And perhaps that’s why I have been going through it so much. God wants me to get this down, and this is what it takes to get it.

A real Christian should be weak and conscious of their weakness. I’m beginning to understand why Paul says, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

The weaker we are, the more glory the Lord receives. It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? But it’s true. The Lord even says that weakness is what gives God the chance to show us not just power, but perfect power.

2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

A person who understands their weakness will walk in more freedom than the wisest and strongest people in the world, because they won’t feel the weight of believing that everything in their life depends on their actions. They realize it is up to the work and grace of God to bring about anything good in their lives.

James 1:17
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Now I’m not saying this is a call to sit around the rest of your life and do nothing; you don’t know you are weak until you actually try to lift something or do something else. Make efforts. Do stuff. But remember your weakness as a human, and remember your strength as a child of God. We’ve got to learn to see both at the same time. Maybe that’s why God gave us two eyes.

God is some kind of chemist, isn’t he? Always mixing things, like weakness and strength, but somehow it just works.

2 Corinthians 12:10
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”