2005-05-15 - Overwhelmed
Psalm 4, Part 5
David's initial distress came not so much because of his concern for the honor of God, but from the oppression he felt from circumstances around him. He was looking at the waves instead of the Lord. While we should be concerned with the relationship between men and God, more often than not, even as believers, the primary source of our distress is that we too look at the waves.
This is understandable and easy to do. When there is so little money one wonders how the house payment is to be made, or even if groceries can be purchased, it is easy to become distressed. When our children are making choices that could lead to a lifetime of pain, it's hard not to be anxious. When our job is disappearing, and we haven't got any other irons in the fire, then we can start to worry about what we are going to do.
There are lots or reasons we can become overwhelmed by life, if we choose to let life affect us this way. And clearly understand, we do choose to become overwhelmed, for this is sin - and we no longer have to sin; we choose to sin. How can I say this is sin, being overwhelmed by life? It is sin because we are not to respond this way. We are commanded not to respond this way.
"Do not be anxious then saying, 'What shall we eat?' or, 'What shall we drink?' or, 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?' For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:31-34).
The fact of the matter is we, too, can have relief from the distress of daily living. Our relief comes from the same source as David. The source was and always will be trust in the Lord, because He knows our needs. He knows our pain.
In fact, we shouldn't live with the goal of avoiding pain, for it is God's choice we experience difficulties. Only in trials do we grow in our dependency on Him. The only acceptable goal in life is to grow in our relationship with the Lord, and to bring under His control anything that could take first place in our lives.
As we look to Him and depend on Him then, while our problems don't go away, we can finally place them in perspective, and see them as opportunities for growth. We can be blessed because, as we have all observed, our very pain becomes the basis of our maturing. As God said regarding Paul's "thorn in the flesh," his suffering:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."
Paul then responds as we should; "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Let us call upon the Lord out of our distress, but in our trust and be able to say with David; " Lift up the light of Thy countenance upon us. O Lord! Thou hast put gladness in my heart, In peace, I will both lie down and sleep, For Thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety, and with Jesus; "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done."" (Matthew 26:42).
Comments or Questions?