Wednesday, July 29, 2009

God restores our honor

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Psalm 71:19-20 but please read the entire chapter: It’s beautiful! (NIV):

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,
You who have done great things.
Who, O God, is like you.
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
You will restore my life again.

Close your eyes and think about how many scrapes you’ve gotten through in your lifetime when you thought there was no way out? How many were there? A few? Dozens? Hundreds? If you’re being honest, it will take awhile, because the truth is we have survived far more times than we have failed. It’s just that the bad memories linger in our minds far too long, and we don’t think about the successes enough.

It’s not about being humble when we remember the good times. The anonymous Psalmist
says he is a “portent,” meaning he is a testimony to others of what God has done for him. He is an old, gray-haired man as he writes this, and he wants others to know the lifetime of blessings and grace God has given him over the years. He wants others to trust God as he trusts him and to know that He is a constant comfort to him.

The old man’s life was not a bed of roses. He has felt shame, been pursued by wicked men, his enemies have spread lies about him, and God made him see his many “troubles.” Yet, he wants others to know that he has trusted the Lord since he was a boy. Over and over, he praises God for rescuing him from tough circumstances, while his accusers “perished in shame” after conspiring against him. He has hope because of God. He tells everyone that the praise should go to God, not him.

The Psalmist is real when he says he is fearful. He says “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God” in verse 18. A moment later he says he trusts God to “restore my life again” in verse 20. Verse 21 goes a step further, saying “You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.” We may go through tough times in life, but it’s comforting to know that those struggles lead to honor later. That’s why it’s so important that we share our stories with others. They need to hear how God saved and comforted us in rocky times.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to have the confidence in you that this Psalmist has. Give me the courage to share your hope with others. Amen

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