When I was in an elementary school, each day the teacher would walk up and down the aisles and makes us hold out our hands: first, with the palms up to make sure our hands were clean and then with the palms down to make sure our fingernails were clean. Of course, none of us liked this, because little kids would much rather have dirty hands.
Psalm 28 talks a great deal about hands. The psalmist lifted up his hands. The enemies were doing evil work with their hands. But God had His hand at work as well. There are wicked people in this world and they have dirty hands. Some people defile everything they touch. This grieves us, especially when they want to touch our lives and defile us.
What did David do in such situations? Well when he saw his enemies evil hands, he would lift up his hands. Now another question comes in mind- why would he do that? To answer that we need to understand that when an Old Testament Jew prayed, he didn’t fold his hands. He lifted them up to God in praise and in expectancy that He was going to do something.
Similarly, when you see the evil hands of Satan’s crowd doing their defiling work, don’t put your hands on their hands for You’ll be defiled. Instead, lift your holy hands to the Lord and trust Him to work. Friends, God’s hand is at work today and the result is this is praise. Do you need help today? Lift up your hands to the Lord in supplication and in expectation, and soon you will lift up your hands in jubilation and celebration.
Twice in Psalm 42 the writer ask:”Why are you cast down, Oh my soul? And why are you in turmoil within me?” (vv. 5,11). Perhaps you have asked the same thing. Why do we have hours, sometimes days, perhaps weeks of depression and discouragement? There maybe times when we are not at our best physically. I’m reminded about Elijah, who had that difficult experience on Mount Carmel when he battled the prophets of Baal and God sent fire from heaven. When it was over, he was tired. His nerves had been stretched to the breaking point and he got discouraged and ran away. He needed food and sleep, so God sent an angel to feed him and give him rest.
Sometimes our depression is satanic. The Enemy is throwing darts at us. And instead of holding up the shield of faith, we fail to trust God. Those darts then start fires of depression and discouragement in our lives. Sometimes it’s just sorrow because of circumstances. We may have lost a loved one or a friend. Sometimes we feel that we have failed and that everything has come to an end.
What’s the cure for all of this? Well, the Psalmist answers this question so beautifully in verse 5, “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance”. Friends, you have a secure future in Jesus Christ. As your hope in Him is well founded, for He is ever faithful to His Word.
Let me encourage you by saying that I’ve discovered when I get discouraged, the best thing to do is praise the Lord immediately. Praise is the greatest medicine for a broken heart. The psalmist praised God for the help of His countenance. No matter how you feel or whatever your circumstances, if you’ll look to the face of God, you’ll discover that He’s smiling on you.
Have you ever been impatient with God? Impatience is one of my big problems. It’s one thing for us to be impatient with ourselves or with others. But when we become impatient with God, we should watch out! “How long O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul? ” (Ps 13:1-2).
Four times David asked, “How long?” We’re so time conscious nowadays. We have watches that show us split seconds. But what do we do with those split seconds? If we save three minutes by taking a shortcut, what significant thing will we accomplish with the three minutes we save?
Friends, we always expect God to do what we want Him to do– and that’s right now! But He doesn’t always act immediately. Abraham had to wait for 25 years after God’s promise before Issac was born. Issac had to wait 20 years for his children. Joseph had to wait 13 years before he was set free and put on the throne. Moses had a wait for almost 80 years! You see, God’s schedule isn’t the same as ours. Sometimes He waits so that He can do more for us than we expected.
Some of your greatest blessings come with patience. When you must wait for God to act, you can be confident that He knows what is best for you and me and what will best glorify him. Take in e.g. when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He waited until the news came that Lazarus is no more. But when Jesus came, He brought a greater miracle and received greater glory for the circumstances. Let me boldly ask you– Are you waiting for God to act on your behalf? If yes, then start aligning with His timing while resting upon the promises on His word. Because its hard to wait upon on God but when you do- You shall receive a greater miracle which you had never expected at all!
Many people have the strange idea that God’s Law and man’s liberty are enemies. They say, “I want freedom. I want to do my own thing.” How wrong they are! God’s Law and your liberty go hand in hand, as Bible teaches us in Ps 119:45 – “And I’ll walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.” Now the world may chose to write this verse as “And I will walk at liberty, for I reject and break Your precepts. I’m going to do my own thing, my own way.”
Friends, let’s get down to basics shall we. What is freedom? Some may say freedom means the privilege of doing what you want to do. But i.e., not freedom. In fact, that’s the worst kind of slavery in the world- to be controlled only by your impulses and inclinations. Real freedom is a life controlled by God’s truth and motivated by His love.
This is true in every area of life. If we obey the traffic laws, we have the freedom to drive on the streets and highways. If we obey the laws of truth, we have the freedom to speak, and people will believe us. If the pilot obeys the laws of aerodynamics, he will be able to fly the plane. You see, we have the freedom to enjoy the power of the Law when we have yielded to the commandment of the Law. So when I submit myself to the will of God, I’m taking my first step towards freedom.
As Charles Wesley wrote, “God breaks the power of canceled sin; He sets the prisoner free.” Friends, are you enjoying real freedom in your Christian life? If not, you may have real freedom by submitting to the will of God. He give us His Word so that we may know His will. Submit to Him and take your first step towards freedom— Real Freedom!!