April 11, 2015

Psalm 31:1, 24 In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.

This Psalm shows a very interesting progression. It starts with a statement of commitment, coupled with a request for deliverance, and progresses through some fairly desperate cries for help, interspersed with declarations of faith, and then ends up with a strong, confident exhortation to others for them to trust the Lord. David is notable for his honesty, and I think that’s part of why he was “a man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) He didn’t pretend to ride on the heights of faith all the time, but was honest about his struggles. He fell disastrously but accepted it honestly and God restored him. These days some people are so worried about a “negative confession” that they can hardly be coherent in talking about themselves. That’s foolish! We are to be honest about the difficulties we face, but at the same time remember always that God is far greater than any difficulty ever could be. It is not wrong to say, “I face this impassible mountain,” if we also say, “God is more than able to get me over it.” It’s also not wrong to say, “I don’t know how He’s going to do it!” We are very prone to try to figure out what the solution to our difficulty should be, and then demand that God do it that way. He generally has a better idea!

I’ve certainly experienced this more times than I could count. I still have moments of anxiety, but I know from multiplied experience that such anxiety is both unnecessary and foolish. I am reminded frequently that there is far more that I don’t know than I do know, even though some people call me a walking dictionary and/or encyclopedia, and that’s not at all a bad thing. It is liberating to know, to the core of my being, that God is God, and that’s enough. I have no idea what He’s going to take me through, but I do know that He will take me through it to the other side, and that “other side” is glorious indeed. As a pastor I deal constantly with people who don’t have that assurance, and sometimes they try my patience greatly. That reminds me of how much I have tried God’s patience! I am to extend to them the grace and mercy that have been poured out on me, knowing that whatever the circumstances, God’s grace is all we need. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Father, the relief I recognized in myself after getting the good result from my circulatory system check-up showed me I was anxious about how much longer I had, since I’ve already lived longer than my father did. That’s a reminder that I need to listen to the truth You allow me to speak! Help me walk in the assurance of Your presence, Your grace, at all times, neither ignoring problems nor trying to dictate to You what the solutions should be, but resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in You, just as You have told me to do, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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One Response to April 11, 2015

  1. rk2000 says:


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