Have you ever asked, “Where are you, God?”
David asks God, “Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” He complained directly to God, describing how perplexed he was that the wicked, in their arrogance, were getting away oppressing the poor, crushing the helpless, murdering the innocent, cursing, scheming, boasting their desires, and scheming, unconcerned with God’s judgment, and greedy… yet prospering. He goes on to tell God the equivalent of, “They have renounced you and don’t think you will see what they’re doing. They don’t care. Where are you? Do something!”
Yes, I know. We’ve told God similar things about someone else, haven’t we. “How can they get away with this?” “Are you going to do something about this?” “This is unfair.” “Set them straight!”
But as we continue in this psalm, we see the key moment that causes the transformation of David’s heart; a perspective-shift after he pours out his thoughts and declares to God, “But you DO see…” And with those words of confidence in God directed to God himself, David’s anger and desire for retaliation were set free. , replaced with peace of his confidence was in God’s sovereignty. He let go of wanting to take matters into his own hands and trusted. There’s freedom when we trust God as the righteous judge, defender, helper, listener, and heart-strengthener.
When David declared God is worthy to be trusted, he experienced these heart transformations:
❤️ I am judge ➣ God is the righteous judge
❤️ doubt ➣ confidence
❤️ protesting ➣ praising
❤️ anger ➣ joy
❤️ tense heart ➣ restful heart
❤️ pride ➣ humility
❤️ lamenting ➣ grateful
❤️ hatred ➣ love
This perspective-shift and turnaround in David’s heart is the same transformation available for us when we release the results we want as judge and choose to trust God as the righteous God. In Him we will find rest, joy, peace and the ability to truly love others as Christ does.
As I studied this chapter, a painful experience came to mind. I’m almost ashamed that my example hurt so deeply, when it’s so petty compared to David’s life. I had been treated so rudely and unfairly. I was mad at this character assassination and wanted to retaliate, to point out wrongs and mistreatment, to broadcast my perspective, and make known this absurdity. This situation was all-consuming. I was nauseous just thinking about it. In my mind I rehearsed my conversation, setting this person straight. Thankfully, even in my anger, I was keenly aware of my need for self-control; that damage would be furthered by my unbridled tongue, releasing toxic venom. I knew I needed time with God to fix my perspective. Even if I was completely in the right, I knew God was about the business of chiseling my heart. I knew this process of refinement to be a beautiful. I’d experienced it so many times, yet.. it takes time, intentionality, and examination.
At this time, my kids and I were memorizing Psalm 91- about God being my refuge and my fortress, a safe place. I would lie in our hammock, swaying in the breeze, intentionally applying this situation to the passage. As I recited aloud the passage, the words would fade as my mind replayed hurtful words and actions against me. I would pour out my anger and thoughts of injustice to God. Aware of the sin raging in me, like a heavy backpack filled with all of my anger and desire to be vindicated, I would remove it and lay its entirety at the feet of Christ. I would resume, “He will deliver me from the snare of the fowler..” and then I’d think about this person as the fowler, and empty more of my heart to God. Again, I’d remove the backpack and lay it at his feet. I’d resume, “You are my refuge. You are my fortress. In You I will trust.” This transferring from me being the judge to trusting God as the righteous judge was freeing.
My heart was beautifully changed, set free. The truly remarkable thing that occurred was the love for this person that took place deep within my heart. That’s His transforming, supernatural power at work.
You may be right there, asking God to show up and deal with someone who has hurt you. Confidently complain to God and exchange your thoughts for his. You’ll be changed. You’ll be amazed. And you won’t be wearing a heavy backpack of anger, hatred, or revenge. You’ll be praising God as the great judge and will experience the freedom to love even those who have wronged you.
Dear Lord, I pray for ____ (specific child, friend, spouse, self) to take mistreatment directly to you and experience your supernatural power as you shift his perspective. May his doubting of your presence be met with the confidence of knowing he can trust you as the great Judge. May his heart turnaround from protesting to praising, from doubt to confidence. May he know the joy found in your presence. May times of personal attacks be used to see profit in the pain. May he invite you to reveal his own sin, welcome your purging of his pride, bitterness, desire for revenge, and even be willing to release his pursuit to have his name cleared. May his trust be fully in You as his refuge and his fortress. Thank you for your transforming power, chiseling his heart and teaching him how to trust you, die to self, and love others well.
Rhonda prayingyouwillexperiencethefreedomofreleasingtoxinstoGod ellis