June 18 What a Friend

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:65–72

Key verse: Psalm 119:67

Before I was afflicted I went astray,

But now I keep Your word.

The words of the much-loved hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” sum up the essence of this passage:

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer! (Joseph Scriven)

Have you ever been reluctant to talk to God about a pain in your life because you know the problem is related to a past sin of some kind? You feel ashamed, and somehow in the back of your mind you believe you deserve the consequences and therefore shouldn’t ask God to relieve the pressure.

Yes, sin does bring with it a host of problems, and God does not promise to take away all consequences. In His mercy, He does remove the results much of the time. Sometimes, though, He wants you to learn through suffering, much as a child learns by being disciplined by his parents. Nevertheless, God does care about how you feel.

Part of the reason to allow the suffering to remain in your life is that you will learn to draw closer to Him. The Lord wants to heal your damaged emotions and recharge your spirit. Trust Him with that task, and you’ll learn what He can do.

Lord, I want to draw closer to You. Heal my damaged emotions and recharge my broken spirit.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 177). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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