The Reality of Our Struggles
I am excited to share with you this week's Koinonia Reflection from Psalm 25 shared with us by Linda Bottoms, who emphasizes the importance of remembering when it comes to our relationship with God, we are not alone.
WE ARE NOT ALONE
- Cain and Abel had some issues
- Job (Trial was his middle name)
- Moses led a bunch of people who murmured and complained a lot
- Daniel dealt with the lions with very sharp teeth
- Noah suffered ridicule while he built a boat before anyone even knew what rain was
- Three Hebrew children found themselves in a fiery furnace. They had to figure out how to take the heat
- Esther was living with the threat of death for her choice in talking to the KING
- Ruth and Naomi were widows who had to make difficult choices which would change their lives forever
- Mary and Joseph lived with whispers and gossip
"O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God. Do not let me be disgraced (ashamed) or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
"No one who trusts in you will be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.
"Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me (the God of my salvation); all day long I put my hope (and wait) on you. Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past.
"Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord. The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
"For the honor of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins. Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose. They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the land. The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies. Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all!
"Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. See how many enemies i have and how viciously they hate me! Protect me (keep my soul) and deliver me. Let me not be ashamed, for i put my trust in you (in you I take refuge)
"May integrity and honesty protect me; for I put my hope in you.
The New Living Translation
The first half of this psalm is a plea for mercy and deliverance. Psalm 25 is a psalm of lament (a cry, one of weeping/mourning); but in the middle of David's sorry he petitions the Lord to forgive him. Although the Psalm contains statements of an expression of grief, psalm and a repentant psalm, the mixture of the two forms, makes this one unique.
According to commentator, Matthew Henry, this psalm is a word puzzle, with one poetic line for each successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Unfortunately, in English we (can ) miss it.
- Verses 1 - 3 reveals the dependence that David had upon God. It is his very soul crying out.
Have you ever been in a place where everything seemed to be failure rather than success --
It seems everyone and everything is against you
(Ask Yourself) Where have you placed your trust?
Psalm 143:8 tells us, "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go; for to you I entrust my life."
- Verses 1-3 speaks to waiting on the Lord -- the equivalent of hoping in Him ("Let no one who waits on the Lord be ashamed" - v 3)
- Verses 1-3 Let me not be ashamed is the opening and closing appeal of Psalm 25. That we would not be ashamed or disgraced and that our enemies would not rejoice in our defeat. Shame is the intended end of the enemies of God but not of the faithful.
- Verses 4-7 Show me is an appeal to God to enter into David's life more directly, to help him become conformed to the character of God.
Romans 12:1-2 tells us, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
- Verses 4- 7 There are two ways we can go. We can go God's way or our own way. (Which way will you go?)
- Verses 4-7 God gives us a choice. We can walk in the path of our choosing -- Or we can choose God's Way.
Being Guided by His truth
"Guide" means someone else is leading...we are asking God to guide us in his truth, letting him be the leader and us the followers.
"Teach" is to impart, to instill in us His Ways.
- Verses 4-7 Point out to me your path o Lord; the right road I should be on
- Verses 4-7 All about Your great mercy and unfailing love
Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
- Verse 4-7 Sins of our Youth speaks to both the sins of immaturity and the transgressions of adulthood. Both need forgiveness. He is faithful to forgive us.
1 John 1:9 tells us, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
- Verses 4-7 Don't remember those sins of my youth. Remember me in your unfailing love, merciful God
Expressing our Confidence in God
In this second section of the psalm David expresses his confidence and trust in God.
- Verses 8-22 Good and Upright. In the midst of David's plea for forgiveness, he praises God by speaking of two of God's characteristics. God is both. He extends mercy to repentant believers and at the same time promises not to allow the guilty to go unpunished.
- Verses 8-22 He leads the humble in doing right; teaching them HIS ways
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths"
- Verses 8-22 His unfailing love (mercy)...His faithfulness (truth) for those who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
- Verses 8-22 Who fears the Lord is shown the path they should choose
Psalms 111:10 tells us, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding -- have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever"
Obeying his commandments and Growing in wisdom
- Verses 8-22 God's love and his righteousness are revealed in His provision of salvation
- Verses 8-22 God forgives us for Christ's sake, never for Our sake. We do not merit forgiveness. It's only by what Christ did on the cross on our behalf.
- Verses 8-22 The "secret" of the Lord speaks to him being that friend to those that fear him, as he teaches them his covenant.
We tell our secrets to God our friend in whom we trust. God wants to share his secrets with us. To be a friend of the Lord, we need to fear Him and stop questioning Him with every aspect of our lives.
Are we constantly in a questioning state?
When we walk with the Lord, many times we do not need to ask questions; we just need to put our hand in His and trust Him.
The truth of scripture and of Psalm 25? No matter what we are going through today, next week, or next year, it will not stay as it is forever. Our troubles may come to pass, but they are not here to stay.
- Trust in the Lord and he will show you, guide you in his truth, teach you.
- We need to look for God's path, and always remember he is faithful. Stop asking questions and just hold on to his hand and let him do the leading
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."