We will be returning to Psalm 103 this Sunday, and we’ll be reading vs 8-14.
It would be hard to find a more comforting set of verses in all the Bible…though there are many of them to choose from. The revelation of God…and how He views humanity which is set forth in vs 8-14 stand in alarming contrast with the expectations of so many religious institutions. For myself, a recovering legalist, the discovery of these verses went a long way toward healing my twisted view of who God is, and how He wants to relate to me.
It’s within this passage that God unveils His paternal heart for us…which would become the pinnacle of Jesus’ teaching on how we relate to God. Jesus broke with the norm and invited us to pray to God as “Our Father”, something that was out of step with the understanding of that time, but which was clearly revealed here in this Psalm. God cares for us like parents care for their children…only infinitely more so.
For most of us, we don’t really have a good framework to understand what that means. For many, our parental interaction was flawed, if not broken. When we conjure up images of a parent’s interaction with us, we may struggle with memories of abuse or conditional affection or limited affection…and on and on.
That’s why this Psalm is so important. While God uses the image of a parent’s love, He qualifies it by describing what that love looks like, and what it means to us.
What images that are used to describe how God views us, or cares for us, or understands us speak the loudest to you from this passage? What does it tell you about this God you seek to know?
Do you struggle with a sense of inadequacy…a concern that God is barely tolerating your inability to follow Him well…or at very least, do you imagine that He’s irritated with you, displeased that you don’t have it together yet? If so…let these verses from Psalm 103 wash over you, rinsing away those inaccurate and burdensome notions. Let this Psalm hold out strong and loving arms that you can leap into; rolling in gleeful wonder as you receive the love that only a Papa like Him can give.
When your enemy tries to discourage you by reminding you of your failures and sins…tell him “Yep, I know I’m no good at this…BUT AS FAR AS SUNRISE IS FROM SUNSET, THAT’S HOW FAR HE REMOVED MY SINS FROM ME!” Then hold tight to the hand which reaches for you from Psalm 103, and know the contentment that comes from being loved.
Have you tried praying this Psalm yet? If so, what have your experiences been?
See yer’ Sundee.
2 thoughts on “Proactive Spirituality (2), Our Frailty, His Favor”
i struggle with feelings of inadequacy at all that i do. even things i do well or better than anyone else i know. there is always somebody better unless you are michael phelps i beleive. i wonder why all of us isolated soles in cocoons of human bodies feel inadequate and alone and to what extent. prayer seems to help sometimes and sometimes community of church. it just seems as though we were meant to suffer this lifetime, each of us, in varied degrees. i guess we should count our blessings when it comes to the sufferings of others. Praise God and think positive.
OK, Tom, now I’m depressed. (just kiddin) Our feelings of inadequacy and imperfection are pretty accurate. We need a savior and our condition here on this fallen earth makes our hearts long for the perfection of heaven.
I had a preacher that said, “If you feel frustrated or confused, what is it that you want, but can not have?” That’s always rung pretty true with me.