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  • East Martin CRC

Straining Instead of Surrendering

Psalm 119:121-128

Verses 123-124 My eyes fail, looking for Your salvation, looking for Your righteous promise. Deal with Your servant according to Your love and teach me Your decrees.

We mentioned as we closed out our time together yesterday that God could have purposes in our being oppressed. The psalmist shows in our verses for today that he was understanding that as well.

Living under the hand of oppression is not something that any of us seek for ourselves. We don’t like the hard times in life and won’t do anything to bring it upon ourselves. But there are times in life that we can’t escape it. There are situations where we are not in control and therefore can struggle to fight off the oppression without success. The oppressor may be in a place of authority and therefore adding a helplessness as to how to handle the issue.

The psalmist is struggling to see God’s hand in the situation too. He is trying to hold onto God’s promise that He will care for His people when they obey His commands but feels like he must be missing something. He has been doing his part but doesn’t see where God is working in everything that he is enduring. He cries in desperation that God deal with him as He sees fit.

This desperation that the man of song felt was the brink of surrender. He was wanting God to work and was struggling because God wasn’t working like he thought He should. He wanted his oppressors wiped out. The psalmist wanted them to be done away with so he never had to deal with them again. He wanted to be saved from those who were causing him this trouble. But that wasn’t what God had planned. So after pleading his case with God, the song writer comes to his breaking point and gives God permission to do what He wants.

Of course God didn’t need the psalmist’s permission but He did want the submission that came with the phrase of allowance. God wants us to desire His will and His plan of making it happen. We too often try to push ahead of Him and try to make things happen the way we think is best. It is the way that we see as the easy way out from under the situation. But God has bigger plans for these times of oppression. One of the things He wants us to see is the blessing of submission, of leaving things in His hands. Another is that He knows just how much we grow during these times. When we cling to Him through the issues, He can show us that He has the strength that we lack and the wisdom we seek. He has it all under control.

Making It Personal

Do you struggle to surrender to God’s handlings of things in your life? Why do you struggle with surrender to Him? What do you need to submit to Him about right now?

Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever disagreed with the way your parents took care of an issue between you and your siblings? Did you trust that they knew what they were doing? Is it hard to trust that Jesus knows what He is doing?

Closing Prayer

Father, Forgive us for the times that we have questioned You because we don’t want to surrender. Help us see that true faith in You requires submission to Your plans and ways. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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