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The book of Psalms is one of my favorite books in the Bible because it reveals God’s character to the reader. David had a very close relationship with God and reading the Psalms is a little bit like reading David’s diary. When I read the book of Psalms it’s like I’m getting to read David’s prayer journal.
If you could read my prayer journal you would know some of the most intimate details about my life. My prayer journal is a collection of what I’m praying for and what God is teaching me through this season. There is no mask, no hiding, no pretending in my relationship with God, when it’s just Him and I the truth is out. I’m fully honest in front of God, in a way that nobody else will ever get from me. If you read my prayer journal you would know everything about me. I’m so grateful that the book of Psalms is included in the Bible, that I get to have the privilege of looking into David’s close and personal relationship with God.
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of distress.
Those who know your name will trust you,
for you have not forsaken those who seek you, LORD.
Psalm 9:9-10 (ISV)
One thing that becomes clear to me when I study the book of Psalms is that I’m fully safe in God’s hands. I’m like a small baby in her loving father’s hands. The problems start when I learn to walk, and start to wander away from God. Just like everyone else in this world, I’m prone to wander away from my loving father and toward sin. Sin looks so shiny, interesting and harmless from a distance. It doesn’t seem to help that God keeps telling me to stay away from sin, I just gotta have it! It’s like when you tell a toddler not to touch the stove, sooner or later the child will decide to give it a try regardless of the warnings. Seconds later the toddler is crying and in pain with a burnt finger.
It fascinates me how us humans are so much like young children, no matter how old we get. We want what will eventually hurt us, and most of the time we resist what is important and good for us. It’s a war between good and evil, from the day we are born we are bent towards evil. We must teach our children to do what is right. We don’t need to teach children to do what is wrong, they do that naturally. How many parents needed to teach their child to hit their sibling? None.
We work hard to teach ourselves to choose love, because doing what is wrong always seems easier and more interesting to us. If we were bent towards love by nature we wouldn’t need things like self-control and discipline. Self-sacrifice, self-control and discipline become important in a world where doing what is right is not what we want to do, most of the time.
Love is a choice we make, on most days it doesn’t happen naturally. We were all created to love and be loved, but it takes real commitment and work to live that way. I don’t know about you, but I can confess that if I did everything I wanted to do, I would not be a very loving person. The more I choose self-sacrifice, self-control and discipline, the more love I’m able to give to others. Love is a beautiful thing, it’s the only thing that can heal our brokenness in this world, but it requires work.
Think of one area in your life today where you have chosen the easier route lately, because choosing love would be much more difficult. Commit to make one small (but important) change to the world today by committing to choose love over comfort in that area of your life, from this day forward.