The Pruning Effect -part 2

“Do good to Your servant according to Your Word, O Lord. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in Your commands.” (vv. 65-66)

The psalmist asks the Lord to bless and equip him to keep learning God’s ways. His belief in God has ignited the flame of desire that burns brighter to grow. This can only be accomplished by the Lord’s favor and the work of His Spirit. 

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word. You are good, and what You do is good; teach me Your decrees.” (vv. 67-68)

He confesses his past sins and the need for God to teach him to obey. The writer declares his belief in God’s character of providential goodness. 

“Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep Your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in Your law.” (vv. 69-70)

These verses reveal how unbelievers have treated the psalmist, yet this has made him cling to the Lord even more. 

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.” (v. 71)

This is the turning point in the octave as the psalmist reflects on how his trials have changed him. He can testify to the passage in James, considering his hardships as joy, because they have refined his heart to persevere in God. 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

“The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.” (v. 72)

This is the fruit of perseverance. When we run to God as our refuge, His ways are pleasant. We begin to experience for ourselves the rich treasures of God’s storehouse.

God is good. There is none like Him. All He does is good, even in adversity- especially in adversity. For it is here we learn who our true friends are, what we really treasure, and experience God’s faithfulness. God is the only One who is truly good. This makes His Word more precious when one realizes what a gift it is. He has only ever wanted the very best for His Beloved. This is why He gives us good commands to follow. Yet the greatest act of love and goodness was God giving us His Son so that we may share in His joy of eternal fellowship (John 3:16). May the Lord help us to obey Him in His strength. May our love for Him grow deeper even in our sorrows as Christ becomes more dear to us. 

Grace upon grace,

April 

Further encouragement: In Christ Alone by Mercy Me

 

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