This week, my post will be on Psalm 38. I enjoy reading and studying the Book of Psalms because the raw emotions of having a relationship with God are relatable and ever present. Take a minute and read through it below.
Psalm 38 NIV
LORD*, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome because my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away
Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.
I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak;
I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply.
LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.
For I said, "Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip."
For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.
Many have become my enemies without cause, those who hate me without reason are numerous
Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.
LORD, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God.
Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.
The imagery that David uses is heavy. His sin must've been weighing hard on him. Can you relate? Have you been so feeble and utterly crushed that it feels like there is no health in your body? You are not alone. I have certainly been there, my unconfessed sin weighing me down like kevlar armor that I am forced to wear. There is GOOD NEWS!!! You do not have to be constantly reminded of your failures and set backs.
Did you see what David did? There are three important actions he took. First, he went to God and confessed his sin! God knows we will fall short of His standards so He will be ready to forgive you when you ask. The key to seeking God's forgiveness is going to Him and confessing your wrongdoings. David was troubled by his sin, my guess is the Holy Spirit was convicting him of his actions. I certainly have experienced those feelings of convicted sin. If you have those feelings, don't ignore them! Go to God and talk to Him about them. This leads to another great action David took: he asked for help quickly. He didn't wait around for his sin to crush him even more.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 11.28-30: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." For me this is incredibly encouraging because with the help of Jesus, I no longer need to shoulder the burden of my sins. I can go to Him for forgiveness and rest. In this world today where there is craziness and chaos, often times it is difficult to rest even for a minute. I encourage you to take time each day to rest in the presence of Jesus. Tell Him about your day, ask for forgiveness from your sins, and study His word.
This leads to the last action, David confessed his need for a Savior. He knew he needed help and asked God to help him. If you are struggling in sinful actions that seem impossible to break, have faith and ask for help. God has enough strength, patience, self-control and love to give you a daily dose to overcome any temptations you are feeling. Look at 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation have overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Remember also Jesus was fully human and fully God. He knew the power of sin and temptation yet never succumbed to the devil's ways. Jesus used an important tool when He was tempted in the dessert by the devil: He recited scripture back to the Devil (Matthew 4:1-11). Therefore my advice to you (and it has worked for me) is store pieces (many and many) of scripture in your heart. Bring them out when you are feeling particularly tempted.
We can use David's petition as an example for confessing sin in our lives: first confess sins and ask for forgiveness, go quickly to God when feeling sin overcoming you, and lastly proclaim your need for a Savior. We can't do this alone. Jesus died for all your sins, past, present and future, so that He can spend eternity with you! You are now pure and blameless in the sight of God. How awesome is that!
*note: If you are unfamiliar with reading the Bible, when LORD is used instead of Lord, it translates to the Hebrew term Yahweh. This is the personal name of God. It signifies that David and any other writer in the Bible has a personal relationship with God