Battles are common to all believers. Sometimes the conflict results from past injuries that have remained unhealed, or the war can come from our proclivity towards a particular temptation. But most certainly, the white hot center of attacks result from our fallen nature being at war with our new nature. Whether we win the war will be determined by that on which we focus. The choice is either focus on the failure, or focus on our Savior. This week's devos are written to help you have confidence not in what you've lost, but what you have left. That is the ever present help of God. Read them, repost them, and relay them to others.
But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, and save the son of Your maidservant. Psalm 86:15-16
Imaginary Christianity is shattered by reality. Many believers carry an image of what they believe the Christian life should be like. That image grows as they look at other Christians who seem to always be happy and have less to deal with. We easily get discouraged and disappointed with God, but suffering shatters our idealistic view of Christianity. And we would do well to let those false pictures die.
We must concentrate on God and only God. In suffering, our vision must narrow, we don’t look for excuses, reasons or timelines, we are to look to Him. The greatest difficulty in dark times is to look only to God. When David wrote this Psalm, he was going through a troublesome time. God’s people are not exempt from trouble. When trouble comes in your life, remember two very important things.
First, remember the character of God. No other verse in the Bible describes the character of God more adequately than Psalm 86:15. He is loving, gracious, extremely patient, full of mercy, and trustworthy. He never changes and is always the same. The character of God is the bedrock of the Christian faith.
Second, remember the power of prayer. David did not pray in generalities. He asked God for four specific things in his time of trouble. He asked for God’s presence (“turn to me”), God’s mercy, God’s strength, and God’s deliverance (“save the son”). Who could ever need more than that? No matter what kind of trouble and suffering you may be going through, God is always sufficient to meet your need.
Prayer is not simple polite conversation with God. Real prayer is calling on God to be all that He is in every situation in your life. Never be afraid to look to him and ask!
Dear Father, thank You for being who You are and for loving me like You do. Thank You for being a present help in the time of my trouble. Amen.