Monday, June 11, 2018

This is tough!

When I call, give me answers. God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room; now I'm in trouble again: grace me! hear me! You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn? How long will you lust after lies? How long will you live crazed by illusion?  Look at this: look who got picked by God! He listens the split second I call to him.  Complain if you must, but don't lash out. Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking. Build your case before God and wait for his verdict. 6-8 Why is everyone hungry for more? "More, more," they say. "More, more." I have God's more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees. At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, for you, God, have put my life back together. 
(Psalm 4:1-5 MSG)

Enemies will come and go - their attacks are as certain as the sun rising and setting - there will always be opportunities for us in this lifetime. Yet, in the midst of scorn, lies, and all kinds of attack, we can stand before our God, our acquaintances, and even our enemies with the same assurance we know in the "good times" when there is no sense of 'attack' around us. We have all been in "tight places" before - but our God has always come to our rescue, giving us the room we needed in order to dodge the attack of these enemies. In that place of feeling "boxed in" by life at any time in our walk with Jesus, all we need to do is call out to God for his grace.

It is that ability to call out to God with an assurance that we will be heard that allows us to turn to our enemies head on and ask, "How long...?" We can know their attempts to tear us down are limited by the keeping hand of God in our lives. I love it when David looks at his enemy squarely in the face and says, "Look who got picked by God!" It is kind of like a "na-na-na-na-nah" response! He knows, standing with absolute conviction and assurance that the moment he calls out to God, God listens. There is no delay in responsiveness on God's part - he is always listening. This is the same assurance and absolute conviction we can have in our lives, as well.

Sometimes we might even spend a little time complaining to God (complain if you must), but we don’t lash out and accuse God of the attacks in our lives – that would be incorrect. God may have allowed it for our growth and development, but he is not the one doing the attacking. It is okay for you to let your heart do the talking. Why? God wants to hear from us exactly where we are at (he actually appreciates the honest approach) - no embellishments, no need to "clean it up" for him - simply being real is how he wants us to approach him.

This psalm closes with a message of assurance - God is more than enough! We know that we possess God's "more than enough" for the present circumstance and the ones that may yet come with the dawn of each new day. We serve the God of "more than enough" and enjoy the rest that brings to our soul. That is how we lay our head down at night in the midst of tough circumstances and sleep like a baby! I know the value of a night's rest to my body and the difference it makes to the view I take of the circumstances I am in – without it, I see the circumstances as a lot harder and bigger than they really are. It is in trusting God's "more than enough" that we can rest - really rest. 

If today is one of those days when you are up against tough odds - run to the God who is "more than enough" to deal with those odds. Pour out your heart to him - even if you must complain - he listens. Then, stand assured that the graces of God will take you through – remembering each step of the way that he is more than enough! Think about that - more than enough. That means that there are "left-overs" in the grace department with God. Left-overs that can even be a blessing through our lives into the lives of those who observe the struggle, those who stand as enemies in our path, or simply those who brush up against us long enough to enjoy them! We serve a God that stands ready to give us rest in the battle. Cry out to him today - he is listening. Just cryin!