Bible Studies for Life Lesson for April 10- Recognize God-s Presence
March 28 2011 by Jim Grieme, pastor, Watkins Chapel Baptist Church

Focal Passages: Psalm 31:7-10, 14-16, 21-24

In Psalm 31:1-24, David is certainly “up the creek minus a paddle.”

He acknowledges God and His power, His protection and His liberating presence, but his situation in verses 6-13, is the point when the “white flags” would go up for most people. Very few of us have had people plotting to take our lives (v. 13).

Throughout the Psalms we read over and again the difficulties David faced in his life. Here in this psalm, David admits his distress (v. 9) and acknowledges his grief (v. 9). He feels so alone he is “like a dead person” (v. 12).

Yet beginning in v. 14, we see a noticeable shift in his attitude? How does he pull this off?

By the time I would finish a verse 13 moment in my life, I would have already thrown a party for my three favorite people: me, myself and I!

Of course there would be no keg (I am a Baptist preacher-dude) and the dancing would be limited, but man oh man, the three of us would be downing great big bottles of pity — self-pity to be exact.

And unlike fine wine, self-pity is great straight off the circumstantial vine. David is able to see his circumstances because of his relationship with the Lord. Far too often we allow the circumstances of our lives to “pile up” between ourselves and Christ.

We overlook the fact that the Lord knows we are made of little more than dust. In the midst of our sufferings, we frequently forget God’s faithfulness in our lives — especially in our difficulties — and as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13, He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our abilities, but in the midst of the temptation and trial, “He will also provide a way of escape.”

He knows our tolerances, He understands what we can and cannot take, and He will always give us options.

David understood this very well.

Unfortunately, when I find myself stressed, I forget too much of what I know — and should know!

I have read that in a stressful situation, many people can forget up to 40 percent of what they know.

The solution? To over prepare.

Since I have been married, I have experienced a lot of stress (but this has nothing to do with my wife).

In the midst of the stress I have never been tempted to forget I was married.

Why haven’t I forgotten? It is because of my great relationship with my wife. That and my relationship with Christ serve to define who I am.

So, are we defining ourselves by our circumstances or by Christ?

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3/28/2011 9:18:00 AM by Jim Grieme, pastor, Watkins Chapel Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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