O LORD, the God of my salvation,
I have cried out by day and in the night before You.
Let my prayer come before you;
Incline Your ear to my cry!
For my soul has had enough troubles,
And my life has drawn near to Sheol.
I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit;
I have become like a man without strength.
But I, O Lord, have cried out to You for help,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You
O LORD, why do You reject my soul?
Why do You hide Your face from me?
I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on,
I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome.
Your burning anger has passed over me;
Your terrors have destroyed me.
They have surrounded me like water all day long;
They have encompassed me altogether.
You have removed lover and friend far from me;
My acquaintances are in darkness.
Psalm 88: 1-4, 13-18
I will never forget the events of this year. The troubles it has presented will forever be etched in my brain. More than this, the perceived rejection of my soul by God has almost been too much to bear. Job came to my mind many times. With this reflection came a glimpse of hope because his faith persevered even though his woes were much worse than mine. Those who knew him perceived his circumstances as abandonment from God. He suffered God’s terrors in the loss of all his children, his business, and his health. His own wife and dearest friends betrayed him in his darkest hour and taunted him to reject his Lord. Surely his soul had experienced enough troubles and yet he never walked away from God. For Job, the thought of walking away was incomprehensible.
And so it is for me as well. Incomprehensible. Although I could never walk away from the One who saved me, my choices to dwell in fear reflected an attitude of the heart that revealed to some degree that I had walked away. I was not face down in reverence. I was not fasting in holiness. I was not fervently praying in expectation. I was not trusting in faith. I was not faithful. There I said it. I was not faithful. My soul was conflicted in the feeling that God’s love for me had changed. My perceptions and reasonings went something like this…..If God was for me, our business would not be failing. If He was for me, our family members would not be losing their battle with cancer. If He was for me, my husband would not be battling depression from the impending deaths of his father and brother. If He was for me, our bills would be paid. If He was for me, we would be able to buy our own groceries. If He was for me, my dearest friends would be rallied around me. If He was for me, creditors would stop calling. If He was for me, my outer circumstances would be resolved and God’s order would remedy our chaos. This is the dangerous side of perceptions. When they come from a spirit of depravity, they break your heart and often wound those who love you. A spirit of depravity distorts the goodness of God and the perfection of His sovereign plans.
One of my dearest friends has been given a spiritual gift from God. Profound revelation is coming through him on his journey to wholeness in truth. He is a medical doctor but God has been turning his world inside out with His truths on healing. Recently, he text me some of his insights:
“Outer circumstances are simply and always a reflection of inner circumstances. To change, resolve or “work out” outer conflicts to bring inner peace is a colossal waste of time and energy. Inner conflicts arise from fear and fears always arise from mistaken perception of a lack of love. Inner peace naturally arises when inner conflicts resolve and inner conflicts only resolve when misconception is corrected. There is no lack of love anywhere.”
I received this word in the depths of my spirit. I read it over and over. I felt the Lord’s love washing over me and reminding me that He had not changed irregardless of my perceptions, irregardless of my circumstances. My conflicted soul was an unnecessary state of being. It was the sin of my unbelief that caused my separation from God’s love. I needed to correct my misconception. His love for me was not lacking nor had it ever been. God’s love is and has always been abounding, never failing, unchanging, redeeming and worthy of our praise irregardless of anything. This truth brought me peace and released me once again from the thoughts and feelings that took me captive. In God, there is no lack of love. His love for me and His love for you is immeasurable and pure. This is a peace establishing, freedom generating truth.
Freedom in Christ opens the heart to hope again, to be renewed by the One who gave His life so that you may have life to the fullest. So with this reaffirmed in my heart… we are rebuilding our business, grieving the loss of our loved ones, “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, learning to laugh again, more grateful for the food He provides, opening our hearts back up to the friends that seemed absent, and getting over the shame of financial failure. But more than this I am seeing more clearly those around me whose souls remain conflicted. I am understanding that their outward wrath stems from inward fear and a perceived lack of love in their lives. Their depravity is heart breaking. As one who has been broken, I understand this. However, there is a Savior who loves them who is heart binding.
Scripture Memory: Isaiah 61:1-2a
The Spirit of the sovereign LORD is upon me. Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberties to captives, and freedom to prisoners. To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God.
Soul Searching Reflection:
How is your soul conflicted in the circumstances you are facing?
How has the spirit of depravity manifested itself in your assessment of situations?
Who has been wounded by your distortion of God’s goodness?
What is your greatest fear?
What do you feel God is withholding from you?
How has your soul been impacted by a perceived lack of love in your life?
How does the knowledge that God’s immeasurable love for you has not changed affect your perception of your situation?
What efforts will you make to replace the spirit of depravity with the spirit of gratitude?
Are you ready to re-establish hope in your heart by embracing God’s love for you?
What would your life look like if inner peace established itself from a right perspective of God’s goodness and love?
What relationships is God asking you to restore by the power of His love?
How have the eyes of your soul been opened to God’s desire to bind your broken heart?
How does freedom from anger, bitterness, rejection, unbelief, doubts and fears appeal to your soul?
What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you today?
How does this revelation impact the condition of your soul?
What soul searching changes is God asking you to make this week?