WE NEED HELP IN DECLINE PSALM 71:1

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To feel God’s hands on the steering wheel of our life is hard when it looks like we’re heading over a cliff.  But to have a consciousness of his supportive help when stuff is going haywire is an encouragement beyond words.  Confidence builders are few and far between.  The Lord wants our trust.  He asks that we draw our confidence in Him no matter what the disorder and uncertainty of our circumstances.

“Glorify you the Lord in the fires” (Isa. 24:15)

PSALM 71

THE EXPECTATION OF HELP v.1-4 

DIRECT US IN TRUST v.1 In You, O LORD, do I put my trust:

Where do we run when we can’t run any longer?  Where do we run when our body is wracked with pain and physical defeat.  The only place to run is to run for our dear life to God.

“David Livingstone runs there when he can run no longer.  He was away up in the swamplands around Chitambo’s village, alone except for a few native carriers.  He had come to the end of his tether.  His feet were a mass of ulcers, his tough physique sapped to the point of utter exhaustion.  He was bleeding inside.  The last distinct entry in his diary reads tersely: “Knocked up quite!”  A drizzly rain was falling as his porters built a rough shelter into which he could creep.  Like Jesus in Gethsemane, the worn-out old missionary had three men with him. He allowed two of them, almost as worn out as himself, to seek their rest. He asked the third to watch.  But presently he, too, fell asleep.  After the night watches, dawn appeared at last over the eastern horizon.  The man left on watch awakened with a start and peered into the shanty.  There he was, the valiant old warrior of the cross— not in bed but on his knees alongside it.  Calling the other two, the man waited and then the three of them crept into the shelter.  Livingstone was dead—alone dead on his knees.

Had God let him down? No, a thousand times no! Into that lonely hut He had come, He who had promised never to leave nor forsake.  Beside that camp cot He had kneeled, beside the wasted form of His missionary friend.  Around that wasted form had gone those mighty, everlasting arms. “Now then, David,” He had whispered, “you’re coming home with Me.”  And so He had. The character and compassion of God had been tried to the uttermost and found to be true—true to the very last moment of time, to the very last breath of life”! as related by John Phillips

And where do we run?  In You Oh Lord do we put our trust!  How much trouble does it take before we recant our trust in God?  What level of discomfort and pain does it take before we renounce The Lord?  Would we every abandon Jesus because we feel He’s abandon us?  Does life need to be falling together according to our expectations and timing for us to rest in confidence in God?

DELIVER US FROM TURMOIL  let me never be put to confusion.

Aging is intensely confusing.  The word confusion can be rendered ashamed, embarrassed, and crushed.  Old age does that to us.  We can end up feeling beat up by our decline.  What we may have thought was attractive about us now is not.  Deterioration stares back at us in the mirror.  Wrinkles, sagging, things hanging limply, atrophy is seizing our being and we no longer trust our abilities.

Why would God allow this?  What kind of creative love could allow such individual devastation?

Prov. 28:26 says those who trust in themselves are fools.

Could it be that the Lord in His faithful compassion is training us to be wise and trust in Him.  It’s humiliating to live in a collapse and lurch in a slumping crumble.  These felt difficulties are tragedies used in sympathy.  When we know someone, when we’ve studied them through what they’ve said to us, then we begin to lean on them in trust.  It’s by intimacy with Jesus that we relax in His process with us.  There is no other way to reduce the damage.  We have to let Him have the wheel.

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