Life on earth is full of trouble. It just is, but when these things pop up into our lives we have some choices to make. We can attempt to hide them away or we can be honest and bring them to Lord and Savior. We stay distracted and focused on the problem or we can turn our gaze to Jesus and praise him for being lighter than the difficulty we face.
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While journeying Quietly Through the Psalms I’ve noticed two habits of David. These are two habits that I think we should all begin to practice. First he was a man who was unashamedly honest with God. Second, he never remained focused on his problems. Instead, he returned to the act of praise and worship, even in the midst of trails.
David brought it all before with God.
Like fruit Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (post forbidden fruit debacle), I have a tendency to hide from God. My sin, my worries, my fears — my natural, sinful bent is to try and hide these from Him. My prideful, arrogant heart wants to take all my junk and shove it down in a place where I don’t have to think about it, talk about it, or confess it.
But not David.
I haven’t gotten too far in handwriting the Psalms, only to chapter 14, but one thing I’ve noticed is that David would let God see all his junk. Obviously, let is not the right word. God sees everything whether we want Him to or not. David knew this.
Verse after verse David poured out all that was troubling him. He didn’t hold back. His trusted God with his everything — worries, fears, doubts, emotional outbursts, his sin.
“How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? Selah”
“O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.”
“Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.”
Whether it was worry or fear about his enemies, David had an open and honest dialogue with the Lord. David was also blunt about his sin and was just as blunt in his begging for mercy.
However, no matter how big his problem, David didn’t stay focused on it. Instead, he turned his heart to praise.
David continually praised the Lord.
In every chapter I’ve handwritten so far, with exception of Psalms 1 & 2, David spent time dwelling on his troubles. But, his gaze always returned to the goodness, the grace, and the glory of God.
“But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him.”
“The LORD has heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer.”
“O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!”
“The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. You shall keep them, O LORD, You shall preserve them from this generation forever.”
David trusted the Lord so much that no matter what was going on in his life he could keep his gaze fixed on his Savior. Even when the distractions of this life took his attention away for a moment, it wouldn’t take long before David returned his eyes to the Lord.
David was a person who repeatedly practiced the habit of inwardly gazing upon God. Even when he was “compelled to withdraw (his) conscious attention in order to engage in earthly affairs there (was) within (Him) a secret communion always going on. Let (his) attention but be released for a moment from necessary business and it (flew) at once to God again.” (A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God)
What to do with this Bible info?
David experience a life full of events that could certainly be classified as a distraction. Goliath, Saul after his life, being a king of a nation, having an adulterous affair, and plotting and committing murder are just a few of the things that David experience — a few things that could have caused him to loose focus on his Lord and promised Messiah. But these things — while they may have momentarily caused him to lose sight — never permanently distracted David from a life of honest communication with and genuine praise for his King.
We, too, live lives that are full of distractions. Perhaps some we have in common with David. Others may be more unique to the modern day we live in, but they are distractions nonetheless. We can let these things rob us of our view of Jesus or we can take these things to Jesus.
Like David we can be unashamedly honest with God, honestly expressing all our that is on our hearts in our minds. He sees it anyway — whether or not we try to hide all our junk — so we might as well tell to Him all that concerns us. We should also repeatedly confess the sin that shows up in our lives and repeatedly ask and thank God for His mercy, just as David did.
Another David habit that we should mimic is that of praise and worship. Though in his Psalms David did reflect on his troubles, he constantly turned back to praise and worship of the Lord. David refused to keep his focus on earthly problems and instead he dwelt on the goodness, the grace, and the glory of God. We, too, need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We, too, need to choose worship over worry and praise over pondering our problems.
“…do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
II Corinthians 4:18
Lord in heaven, help us to be women who are unashamedly open with you. Forgive us to try present a perfect picture. Forgive us for not admitting when we have problems and are in need of your mercy and grace. Lord, help us to trust you. I also ask, Lord, that you would fix our wondering hearts to thee. Make us women who are able to praise and worship you no matter life’s circumstances. Whenever we are distracted by troubles, remind us to keep our eyes on You. Help us to see that you are greater than anything we face. For the glory of your Son I pray. Amen.
This post was written while moving quietly through the Psalms, a slow and simple practice of handwriting the Psalms verse-by-verse and word-by-word. If you are participating in this practice too, would you let me know by leaving a comment below or by sharing in the link-up?
For the time being the Quietly Through Thursday link-up is dedicated to those who are taking the Quietly Through the Psalms journey. You’re welcome to link-up your blog post, Facebook status updates, or Instagram posts that reflect on your time moving Quietly Through the Psalms. By scaling down the theme of the link-up I am hoping it build an intimate and thriving community of women (even if it is a small community) who are drawing near to God in similar ways. Thank you for respecting the intent of this link up.
Only by grace,
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