Scripture: “May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?” (Ps 12:3-4)
“How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him”; lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
BUT: I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (Ps 13:2-6)
Observation: Affliction is more than just physical, it can burrow deep into the bones and cause all sorts of havoc in the spirit of man.
Analysis: Read the cry of David out loud and I find that it somehow resonates within my soul.
The Holy Spirit identifies it well: He calls it “groaning.”
In Job 3:24: “…my groanings are poured out like water.”
Job 23:2 “Today my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.”
Ps 5:1 “Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning.”
Ps 38:8 “…I groan because of the tumult of my heart.”
All of this comes under the category of groaning. Associated synonyms are: sighing; moaning; complaining; whimpering—all can be considered outward signs of a spirit either or on the way of being crushed.
Believers are not immune to this. I think that believers may be more susceptible to this kind of affliction than most.
At Sat Morning Coffee, the book “The Enemy Within” is being reviewed. One of the things that the writer says is, “Believers are the only people who ever find the law of sin at work in them. Unbelievers can’t feel it.” (p25) The writer continues about unbelievers, “…they cannot measure the force of the current because they have surrendered themselves to it…” (p25)
Is this to say unbelievers are never sensitive to “groanings?” No, of course not. However, discernment would expose whether groanings are directed to God or about circumstances. A fine line, I think, but an important distinction.
The point is even believers groan, have sorrow, have thoughts about why enemies are exalted, and I am laid low. I have these thoughts and groanings. A lot.
There are two thoughts about this: 1) Short term: I would rather not have sorrow; I would rather not groan. I would rather I be thought well of and promoted. Doesn’t happen: at least what I remember on the short term are all the ways I come up short. And then there is 2) Long term: I remember the Gospel. “Why are you in despair O my soul? Hope again in God for I will indeed praise Him.” (Ps 52) David writes in Ps 13:5-6 “BUT: I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
When things seem to be in the toilet, I remember the Gospel.
Prayer: Lord, how much of my walk in You consists of remembering the Gospel? The Gospel is more than the reason of the invitation to become a believer. It is the full measure of sustenance that lasts for my lifetime and into eternity.
Help me work through this latest occasion of the bruising of my heart. I want to lay my heart down afresh at the foot of the Cross and surrender anew. AMEN.