Monday, November 26, 2012

A Cure for the Aching Soul


A Cure for the Aching Soul

 

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.” – Psalms 32:10

Ask any Christian to name the top events in their life, and you’ll hear many of the things you expect, such as the birth of children, job opportunities, marriage, and so forth.  But one you will most certainly hear in the list, and most likely high on the list, will be their salvation.  It is the turning point of all things in life.  It is the true 180, the time when life began to have meaning, joy, and freedom.  Most can recount the day, the time, the place, and even the words that lead to the healing of their soul. 
Psalms 32 gives such a beautiful picture of what life is like before and after salvation.  King David reflects on his life before and after God’s forgiveness of his sins.  He starts in verses 3-4 describing how sin feels when it’s unconfessed and unforgiven.   

“When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah

Sin had depressed David, caused his bones to ache, and his soul to groan.  He “kept silent”, not confessing his sins, but bottling them up inside.  He could feel the hand of God on him, day and night.  He had no rest from it.  He says it was “heavy”, as a burden.  His energy was like a season of drought in summer.  Can you identify with that description? 
Sin is uncomfortable because while you’re living with it unforgiven in your life, you’re not living in the image of God in which you were created.  You’re like a puzzle piece being hammered to fit into a space you don’t fit.  It’s confusing, chaotic, painful, and depressing.  God makes it uncomfortable for a reason. He doesn’t want you to stay there!

But then David goes on to say that he acknowledged his sin to God, attempting to hide nothing.  He said “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”, and in return God forgave him of all his sin.  Confession cleanses the soul and brings back the energy and life that was lost to the guilt and shame of sin.  Yes, it truly is that simple.  Romans 10:9 says that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Confess your sins to God, believe in Christ from your heart, and you are saved from your sins.  He didn’t make it difficult because His desire is that all will do it.  He doesn’t want His children living outside His grace, love, and mercy.
David then goes on to describe the gift of God’s forgiveness.  To be made right with God is to be given righteousness in His sight.  When we are saved, it is the righteousness of Jesus that we are given, like a robe to cover us.  It’s not the same as man’s forgiveness, for God’s comes with blessings that are often neglected or seen as smaller than the forgiveness of sins itself.  But forgiveness from God comes with “perks”. 

He says that God has become his “hiding place” and He has preserved him from trouble.  Trouble still exists, but God has become his refuge, his hiding place, and trouble will not defeat him.  He is preserved from it. 
He surrounded him with “songs of deliverance”.  His heart was not only free from depression and shame, but now filled with song, with joy, and an understanding that God was His deliverer from all evil.  God hid him from evil and trouble.  Can you imagine what the “songs of deliverance” would sound like?  How about a few verses of “Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone”, or “Love Lifted Me”, or “Blessed Redeemer, Jesus is Mine”.  Do not the words themselves flood your soul with joy?

He continues to say that God instructs him, teaches him the way he should go and that he guides him with His “eye”.  This is a spiritual “eye” that instructs, and leads past salvation to sanctification, which is the process by which God perfects the saved through His word and instruction.  It’s the process that God commanded when He said in Leviticus 11:44-45 “be you holy, for I am holy”.
The spiritual “eye” is the leading of the Holy Spirit from within.  At the time of salvation, God gives a precious gift.  Sin has separated you from Him, and He cannot wait till death to rejoin your heart to His!  He gives His very own Spirit to come into our hearts as a guide (2 Corinthians 1:22).  He lives within YOU.  And the purpose of the gift is to help YOU become more like Him.

David goes on to say “Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.” There are those that become saved, are gifted with the Holy Spirit, and yet won’t take instruction from Him.  To those God does provide the harness, bit and bridle, through His correction.  Friends, don’t let the process of sanctification become a painful one.  Go where He leads, do what He says, and continue to walk in joy and peace. 
David says in verse 10, “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.  Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”  
Nothing can make your life over like Christ can make your life over.  Self-Help books come and go, but God’s word has withstood the years because His plan works.  Are you in need of a life makeover?  Turn to God, confess your sins, and allow Him to create in you a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” He will renovate your life, take out the old junk like shame, guilt and pain, and give you treasures and precious things like tender mercy, grace, forgiveness, guidance, and joy.   The sooner you confess, the sooner you receive the treasures.

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