Written By: Guest Writer Brittany Jude
Have you ever been so broken you can feel the physical pain in your heart from the emotional wreckage that is going on inside you? Maybe it was the loss of a relationship, child, spouse, or some other beloved person; maybe it was the burdens you were carrying (physical illness, financial hardships so deep you can't see a way out, decisions that seem impossible, children being rebellious, marriage falling apart, losing your career etc). Whatever it was, it emotionally broke you to the point you felt like you could just die any moment from the weight of it and you needed new life breathed into you to revive you! Maybe you’re going through such a storm right now. I want you to look at those emotions and ask yourself: have you ever felt that way about your sin? These emotions of extreme sorrow; Have you ever been so wrecked over the realization of your lost condition because of sin that you felt like you'd just waste away if the Lord didn’t restore you & forgive you? I have felt that. My soul was “clinging to the dust” when I realized my lost condition before I repented back in 2013; I experienced that feeling again when I lost my dad in 2014; but the last time my soul was so low I believe I actually prayed this scripture to God in tears “Lord my soul is clinging to the dust, I cannot go on if You do not revive me! But I know You will! Please help me understand ! Even if it’s not Your will that I should see the “why” behind this, I will trust You for You are good and I know You love me & are working things-yes, even this- together for my good/growth in Grace and Your Glory. I want a child Father, but I know You know best...so I trust in You to provide a child, but even if You don’t, I desire Thy will be done, not mine because I know Your will for my life is better than anything I could obtain on my own. This is my request, nevertheless, Thy will be done. ” This prayer was during the season I was barren and suffered through multiple miscarriages. I remember a specific moment of despair during that season when I literally felt like I could just fade into eternity at any moment from that agony. But God granted my request & restored me! I never understood “why” I had to lose those babies, but I trusted Him and I’m so glad I did! He has now given me a beautiful family to love and so much peace as I have learned to Trust Him, even when I cannot see. He is such a good Father. He truly only wants the best for His children. Sometimes, however, that looks a little different than what we have dreamed up in our minds. But, if we’re willing to accept that God’s plans might be different, might look different than ours & just TRUST His heart—that He is GOOD and He wants what’s best for us, that His plans are FOR us and not against us, then we will end up with a life & an eternal life far better than anything we could have ever hoped for, obtained or dreamed up for ourselves. No, that doesn’t mean you’ll have health, wealth and prosperity. But it does mean you’ll have His peace—the kind that endures despite circumstances (not based on fickle, tangible things like the kind of peace the world offers), you’ll have the hope that is found only in Him (forgiveness of sins, a clean conscience and the resurrection to eternal life in that land where righteousness, peace, holiness, and rejoicing reigns), faith that shields us from the mental & physical attacks that come at our identity, our minds, our hearts and our lives & greatest of all: you’ll have a love that is enduring, steadfast, faithful and longsuffering. This is the life we have through Christ—the “life and life more abundant” which Christ told of in John 10:10. The psalmist could have very well been broken for some other reason but I believe this specific context suggests he was broken over his sin. He cries out to God saying that He has confessed and then the Lord answered Him! This reminds me of our blessed hope as born again followers of Christ for continued forgiveness found in 1 John 1:9 ”if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins”. It is good that we lament our weak condition and the separation it causes us from our Lord and the offense it causes our Lord. But let us not despair! Let us come to God, confess, and cry out for revival! He has said “you have not, because you ask not”. So then, Let us “come boldly to the throne of God so we might receive grace to help in our time of need”(Hebrews 4:16). The psalmist does this! He pours out the emotional wreckage to God in prayer, presenting the state of his soul, crying out for revival & then confesses his transgression and declares God’s answer to Him! Then he presents his requests further: “teach me! Make me understand! And I will meditate!” He has so despaired over falling short, he wants to know the whole will of God, he wants it ingrained in his mind so that he will not sin against The Lord again! He declares his sorrow and the lowness of his soul and cries out for God to strengthen him. That takes humility! To know you have wronged the Lord, then to be broken over it and cry out to be taught, led, and strengthened—that takes humility. Approaching the one you love who you’ve wronged to ask for lessons, to ask for strength and life—it is a reverent & humble plea for mercy & help! I love the psalmist's heart! He did not let his emotions rule him or destroy him because he knew where to take them. Taking our emotions to The God who made us, is exactly what we must do if we wish to be restored. It can be messy and difficult but with God, there’s nothing that can not be overcome. In v 29 the writer asks God to remove false ways from him! He doesn’t even trust himself, and he so hates anything that might offend his God that he doesn’t even want to cross paths with things not right & true. This shows his great love for God and His right ways. The writer knows the wisdom of God’s righteousness and he wants only to walk in that path. Though he clearly sees his imperfection, He declares his choice: I have chosen the way of faithfulness. This is the crossroads we all must come to: a choice. When we are faced with a million reasons to give up, when our souls are at their lowest “clinging to the dust” or “melting away with sorrow” and we are tempted to doubt the Lord and His goodness we must choose. In that moment, we make a choice to either trust that God is Good beyond our understanding in this storm as much as He is good in the sunshine (when things are going great) or you choose to trust your own heart and your own understanding. I greatly urge you, and warn you to never trust your heart dear sisters. Our hearts are so deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9)! The heart only reacts to its environment and will shipwreck us unless it is led by sound directions (prov2:2;22:17). It is not a trustworthy compass by which we should guide our lives and it certainly shouldn’t be followed—> however, God’s Word is the everburning, never changing light by which we can lead our hearts down the right path (psalm 119:105) When the storms of life come knocking, I want to encourage you not to “lean on your own understanding”. It can be so easy to ask “why” in circumstances where all seems to be lost up to and including almost your life...and you may be tempted to make decisions based on your own understanding, but we must choose instead to trust The One who created us, seek His face in the storm and KNOW His love for us. “Be still…” tell your heart “be still….and KNOW..” Be still and know that He loves you. Be still and know that He is for you. Be still oh raging sea of emotions...my God is going to weave this dark thread into the beautiful tapestry of my life for my growth in His Grace and His ultimate glory! I may not see it yet, I may not understand it, but I trust that God is indeed good and I trust that He is working this together for my good & His glory because I am living according to His Word. (“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”-rom8:28) Whether you are in a storm and your soul is so burdened with sorrow you feel as if you could melt into nothing at any moment, or you’re at the peak of your life with joy… you have a choice that needs to be made today. Will you trust in The Lord? Before they even come, know that in the hard, confusing, difficult, painful, offended, and hurt moments, you will have a choice to make. You can choose to lean on your own understanding with your eyes on the pain OR to trust & set your eyes on The One Who knows your pain, who sees the bigger picture, who can use this for your good and the only One who can breathe new life into you, giving renewed strength to your soul. Each day, the choice is ours. Let us be women who resolve to say “I have chosen the way of faithfulness” and fix our eyes on His Words that we may live by them. Let us cling to His ways and cry out to God in confession when we fail, coming boldly to His throne asking Him to breathe new life into us & strengthen us according to His Word and then humbly plea for Him to teach us, make us understand and learn His ways so that we may run in them! Notice “when” then psalmist said he will run, not walk,in the way of God’s commands: “when You enlarge my heart”. That term heart is defined here also as the “mind, knowledge, thinking, understanding, and determination of will”. So, we ask God to teach us, and when He opens the eyes of our understanding we will run in the ways of His Commands! The psalmist doesn’t say “if” you do Lord, he says “when”. I love that because it shows that the psalmist KNOWS that God is for him. And so he is being still, and KNOWING and lifting his requests to the only one who can save him. I don’t know what your life looks like right now sisters, but If I had to guess you’ve all had a low point where you can relate to the psalmist. The example we have here, is one of a soul who, in his brokenness, trusts in God! Today, you have that decision to make as well. Will you trust your own understanding or will you trust the one who made you, loved you, redeemed you & who is able to enlarge your heart, strengthen you & revive your soul! The choice, by God’s grace & design, is ours. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. I hope you found comfort and encouragement as well as some motivation for your walk with The Lord today from this devotion. My prayer is that each soul reading this will benefit in some way by these words and grow closer to God through it. Need a tool to help deepen your Bible study? Check out our Psalm 119 workbook here.
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