Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
We often wonder why things go wrong continually without realizing that it is quite likely that the reason for our problems is in our own actions. Sometimes we are so used to sinful behavior that we convince ourselves that what we are doing is right even if it’s wrong. Although our conscience dares to warn us that the direction we’re taking is wrong its voice is silenced by our will. What we can’t ignore is the consequences our bad actions bring upon our life and the life of our loved ones. But of these consequences we also rationalize and blame anything else that comes to mind just to make us believe that we are innocent of everything that is going on.
Running away from the challenges is not a feature of the brave but of the cowardly. As God’s children we must behave in a way that causes people to praise God for our actions. When was the last time the name of the Lord was exalted by something you did? If it’s been a long time or you do not even remember when was the last time this happened you have to stop and do a thorough analysis of your life and the path you are following. This does not mean that we will be announcing to all that we are about to do something for the glory of the Lord. Just act properly, serving the Lord in all that he instructs you to do and watch the praises of God arise without need for promotion or advertising. Ask the Lord to cleanse you of your faults and proudly dedicate yourself to do the things he wants you to do. Only to God be the glory!
In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;
in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
So he ended their days in futility
and their years in terror.
Our memory behaves strangely. To begin, our memory is selective, that is, we just remember some things and forgets many others. What we forget and what we remember depends greatly on the impact that events have had on our lives. Normally, we only remember what we consider important to us. This says a lot about what we really believe. God has done great wonders in our lives, but how many of them we can recall with precision and at all times? If we forget the great works of God in our lives it is because we have not given to them the importance they deserve and this means that we are not giving honor to God who is the author of them. So it was with the Jewish people when they were wandering in the desert. The Lord gave them protection and guidance. He also gave them water, bread and meat and their shoes and clothes did not wear all those years. Still, the daily worries prevailed over the memories of those great miracles that against all rational explanation they were able to see with their own eyes.
Our behavior is not different from the behavior of the Jewish people. Normally our thoughts are not focused on the memories of the great works God has done for us. This is because we are not giving the importance of these works they deserve. We can hardly bring glory to God if we can barely remember what he has done for us. Would you take a moment now to reconsider all that the Lord has given and has done for you? I invite you to make a list of them. Initially it will be difficult to remember some things but as you progress with the list you will remember more and more. As you make progress with the list you will have before you many reasons to praise God at all times. Instead of complaining about what happens today you can praise God for all he has done for you and it will make your complaints to go the background and even they may disappear completely. Only to God be the glory!
For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
It often surprises me the boldness with which some ─I include myself in this group ─ if not most of us come before God without confessing our sins and without having asked for forgiveness. We present ourselves as if nothing had happened, as innocent lambs, when in fact our sinful nature has been responsible of violating the precepts that God has given us to live a holy life. Sometimes God has to put us in extreme situations so we can realize our sinfulness and of course, this results in something that is not very nice to us. God loves us and as our Father he disciplines us so we may learn to be people full of integrity and moral authority.
Let us constantly review our lives and identify those areas in which we are failing. Let’s take our weaknesses to the throne of grace of God and let us act in a way our repentance shows. In this way we will be rid of the heavy burden of guilt and avoid the anguish that tries to dominate us. As an additional benefit in some cases we will receive health and in others we will find the solution to those problems that seemed to have no way out. Let us not miss the plank that is hosted in our eye and makes it difficult for us to see. May God speak to us and tell us where we are not behaving up to standard. He will respond with tenderness and love and show us the way for us to follow. To God alone be the glory!
Their enemies oppressed them
and subjected them to their power.
Many times he delivered them,
but they were bent on rebellion
and they wasted away in their sin.
In much the same way that some beasts of burden react stubbornly to the instructions of their muleskinner, the human race is determined to resist the direction and guidance of God. Although God’s grace has always been there to favor humanity, men have rejected the authority of the Creator and have rebelled against him under the pretense of being masters of their lives. Those who act so do not know that every breath and every heartbeat depend on the wonderful life that God has given them and that they have no power or control whatsoever of these things. However, in open rebellion and victims of their own pride, these wicked beings have declared themselves independent and if this is something that is in their hands to do. For them the Lord has prepared various disciplinary actions but their pride and stubbornness prevent them from recognizing the majesty of God and his unparalleled love.
Let us not behave ourselves, God’s children, as those wicked rebels or stubborn beasts of burden who are opposed to any order or instruction they receive because they rather obey their own rebellious nature than their legitimate owner’s commands. Oftentimes we find ourselves under the oppression of the enemy because God is disciplining us and anytime we’re faced with adversity we must review ourselves internally to ensure that what is happening is not the result of our rebellion. Cry out to God for his compassion. His mercy is abundant and always available to rescue us from oppression. God is faithful and he will not forsake us.To God alone be the glory!
“If his sons forsake my law
and do not follow my statutes,
if they violate my decrees
and fail to keep my commands,
I will punish their sin with the rod,
their iniquity with flogging;
Laws, decrees, statutes and commandments, many try to justify themselves by saying that God’s demands regarding our conduct can not come from him since he is all love. The idea is that all the warnings that God gives us to prevent our misbehaving are invalid and spurious. This is only a cowardly escape from their responsibilities. The word of God is very clear about this: God disciplines his children when they do not meet his demands of holiness. And even if it were true that God does not punish us because He loves us we still have to deal for the rest of our lives with the consequences of sin. Make no mistake, God disciplines those he loves and although disciplinary punishments may seem painful and disproportionate, we are receiving exactly what we need to learn the lesson well. Can you imagine someone trying to make a beast of burden obey his commands using tenderness and sweet words? How, then, we think that God will deal with our stubborn sinful nature if not through a fair discipline?
God is love but he is also justice and truth. He can not overlook sin without providing a rebuke commensurate with the offense. As we often do not realize the mistakes we make, the gentle and loving discipline of our heavenly Father will remind us that we, as his children, must be holy as he is Holy. Let us receive, then, with joy the discipline that God imparts as this is an additional demonstration of the love he has for us. Let us view discipline as a loving and on time correction and not as an angry response to our bad behavior. Discipline is part of our education. We must understand that if our behavior is correct, we would not need discipline. Discipline is a proof that we are children of God. To God alone be the glory!
Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
God does not want to have enemies. He loves everyone equally with a love beyond all comprehension, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Yet there are multitudes who have in their hearts (what’s left of it) a deep hatred of God and have declared themselves, even publicly, as enemies of God . Others are not concerned at all, at least externally, with what God thinks of them and they clearly demonstrate it by their unbridled, shameless and immoral behavior, which they know does not please God. It is an arduous thing to be opposed to God. The behavior of these people is more questionable than the conduct of those who do not know God. But even for all of them, as he did for us, God has prepared a way out of the damnation in which they are trapped.
God took the initiative to solve the problem of enmity between the humanity and him. God initiated the process of reconciliation with all mankind through His Son Jesus Christ: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Everything that God has made for us, starting with giving us life and culminating with the offer of the gift of salvation that we do not deserve is recklessly ignored by these declared enemies of God. If there is a tragedy of universal proportions, it is this one where many reject the reconciliation that God offers. Let us act as ambassadors of Christ to implore them on Christ’s behalf that these poor souls be reconciled to God. If in spite of all that God has done for them, these wretches persist in standing as enemies of God, they will have to bear the responsibility for their decision. It’s just sad but true. To God alone be the glory!
By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD,
and trouble came to Moses because of them;
for they rebelled against the Spirit of God,
and rash words came from Moses’ lips.
Oftentimes when things go wrong the responsibility for what happened lies with the leaders. No wonder, since those who are in leadership positions are granted more power and this implies a greater accountability for the outcomes of their decisions. A good leader knows what he is exposed to and when something does not go as expected he takes full responsibility for what happened. However, on rare occasions, the responsibility lies not with the leader but on the followers. In the case of the popular protest against Moses because the shortage of water in the desert, the level of gossip of the people was so strong and so repetitive that it made Moses, an extremely humble man, to loose his cool and he ended up acting stupid and rashly carrying out the instructions that God gave him. Moses could blame the people, in fact, God disciplined the people for this and many other instances of complaint and murmuring. Moses’ failure was a result of his rebellious spirit which considered that what God had ordered him to do was a nuisance for his life.
We all receive God’s direction but sometimes we believe that the way we resolve the issues is better than God’s way and we end up rebelling against him. The basis for rebellion is pride and disobedience and we know that none of these things is pleasing to the Lord. When God commands us to do something and we think that there is a better way to do it, we should immediately stop and analyze where we are failing and identify what we need to do to fulfill God’s instructions to the letter. Otherwise it is very likely that we will end up falling into the deep pit of error and sin. Let us heed the voice of God and let us allow his Holy Spirit to lead us into the path of righteousness. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged anger, Christianity, discipline, God, Holy Spirit, Moses, obedience, Psalms, rash, rebellion, sin, trouble, trust, wisdom, words
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
The wealthy citizens of the Roman Empire had at their disposal a technique to commit suicide that was slow and almost painless. They achieved their macabre purpose of leaving this world in a slow and imperceptible way. We will not discuss the details of this technique because this is out of scope. But it is important to know that when we sin, our bodies slowly submerge into a stupor that keeps us from realizing the fall we are experiencing. Changes in our body occur so slow that we can not realize that they are happening until we reach such a state of deterioration that the consequences become a heavy burden.
It is popularly said that “Man is a creature of habit.” Habits and customs produce in us a sense of security and reassurance. The problems arise when the habit or the custom is associated with a sinful practice. If we routinely practice some form of sin we do not realize the negative impact that this practice is having on us. Our hearts become hard as stone and our conscience is numbed into a deep sleep. We displace the Holy Spirit of God and we claim and gradually remove his control of our lives relegating his role to that of being just a spiritual ornament. And that’s when the woes and pains start. That’s when we feel overwhelmed, brought down, depressed and heartbroken because health has abandoned us.
Not every illness or disease is the result of sin, so it is important that we analyze ourselves and that we allow the Holy Spirit to fulfill his purpose in our lives to determine what behavior we must change to avoid the slow process of death. The only available and effective solution to overcome this painful situation is to go to the loving arms of our Lord Jesus Christ. He can set us free from the habit of sin and set us on the path of justice and health. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you where you missed the mark and take your failures to the throne of grace. Christ is the only way to achieve spiritual vitality. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged burden, Christianity, faith, folly, God, guilt, life, mourning, overwhelmed, pardon, peace, Psalms, righteousness, sin, truth, wounds
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
Just as it looks like that it’s the sun that revolves around the earth when the reality is quite the opposite, so it seems that when we sin and make mistakes, God turns his back on us. The reality is that when we sin, it is us who turn our backs on him. We sin because we disobey his commandments, or because we feel that certain aspects of our life do not need to be managed in accordance with the principles established by God. We sin because we place ourselves (or think we can place ourselves) above God. And when we sin we turn our backs to God to follow our own paths and make our own decisions without the participation of the loving guidance of our heavenly Father. With arrogance but also with shame we turn our faces away to avoid being confronted by the truth and justice emanating from the presence of God. Later, when things go wrong, we refuse to accept our responsibility for having failed and often we blame God for what is happening to us without understanding that everything is the result of our disobedience.
Since it was not God who has turned his back on us it is our responsibility to turn our face towards God so we can renew our relationship with him. He is always there. He has never left us. It is us who have separated from him and it is us who must seek and appeal for the mercy of God and through the merits of our Lord Jesus entreat God not to take into account our wrongdoing. Are you in affliction, trouble, anguish,distress or hardship? Have you considered that what is happening to you is most likely a result of your disobedience and distancing from God? The answer is in your hand. Turn to the Lord your God with a repentant heart and seek His forgiveness for all your faults. Then do not turn your face from the glorious presence of God and you will enjoy a relationship that will remain steadfast amid the most violent storm. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged affliction, anguish, Christianity, consequence, disobedience, distress, faith, God, hope, Jesus, justice, life, loneliness, love, obedience, righteousness, sin, sinful nature, spirituality, trials, trouble, truth
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
Some people think that if someone gets sick it is because of his sins. Others believe that there is no connection between sin and disease. Both doctrinal positions arise from taking certain scripture passages out of context and we know that a text out of context is only a pretext. Taking into account all the biblical evidence in this regard we can conclude that not all disease is caused by sin and not all sin is a cause for illness. One day the disciples asked Jesus “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him,” said the Lord and proceeded to heal the blind man. The apostle Paul, who mentioned having a “thorn in the flesh” of his own and the proverbial Job are some examples of people who suffered illness not caused by sin. In any case, the important thing is that there is a possibility that when we find ourselves suffering the ravages of a serious illness, it could be due to the presence of unacknowledged sin in our lives.
When we find ourselves in the grip of illness the first thing to do is to thank God because through this situation we will receive a lesson that will allow us to grow spiritually. Next, we need to analyze our actions to ensure that we have always acted in accordance with God’s will. Subsequently, we must review our mind to ensure that we have not given in to impure thoughts. Finally, we have to verify that all service opportunities that we have come across have been exploited. From this analysis we should be able to identify some things that require correction and we need to take those failures to the throne of God’s mercy so we can be forgiven through the merits of Jesus Christ. In reality, this is something we need to do constantly and not only when we are sick. In any case, there are times when we have to face some health issues and in those cases, whatever the reason, we must rely on the power of God to overcome adversity. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms, Uncategorized
Tagged Christianity, faith, glory, healing, hope, life, love, Psalms, sickness, sin, spirituality, wisdom