"though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand." Psalm 27:24
Boy do I need to read this verse. As I ponder the truth of this Scripture I can't help but think about how frequently I stumble. Most of the time my stumbling comes in my own lack of faith in the realness of God and the lack of trust in His greater plan as I endure hardships and testing. Other times, it comes with a fear that God's plans for me probably involve me living in the bush in Africa or in the some icy region of Mongolia in which I'll be cut off from society and be remembered by like six people that I was a martyr killed by the Yetty. I often talk about how God's plans for us are so much bigger than we can imagine and most of the time after I finish writing this blog my thoughts become as annoying as somebody decelerating on to a freeway. I'll keep hearing that little voice in my head saying, "Crap! What is He going to do with me in order to prove just how big His plans are for everyone else to see". What's so saddening and frustrating for me is that I have these feelings and thoughts even as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Just today I was talking to somebody about what a moron I can be. How I fear so many things and how I seem to live in constant discouragement with not "living up to God's standards". I appear as though I specialize in the habit of thinking God is so big, that my little problems or uncomfortable circumstances are irrelevant to Him and He's got bigger problems to deal with. But Psalm 37:24 is such a great reminder of the character of our Jehovah. He is such a wonderful Father and His love for us is infinitely greater than our minds can imagine. We also must remember that Psalm 37:23 speaks of how God chooses to not only walk with us, but to lead our steps and prepare a way for us. Today I'm reading that we can expect to stumble, but because of our Lord and His Spirit in us, we will not be thrown off the track if we keep holding onto His hand. He will lead us and guide us if we are willing to let go of our life to the Shepherds care, even in our toughest times. The choice is up to us, do we let go and do "it" on our own when things get hard, or do we deal with wherever He is leading us knowing that it is for His glory and our growth?
The more I let today's scripture settle in, I begin to recognize that we should not be surprised even when we are walking with the Lord if we stumble along the way, otherwise Psalm 37:24 doesn't make any sense. The big reminder is that not only is He with us but He is holding our hand through everything, our mistakes, lack of faith, hurts and sins. He is also with us in our trials, no matter how far away He seems or how indifferent He appears to be. The New Testament speaks boldly on this issue. James 1:2-4 says:
"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."
Can you believe that we are told to consider it pure JOY when we face trials? Why is that to be a joyful occasion? The reason is that the testing of our faith in tough circumstances is what allows us to be considered "complete" in our faith in God. I am certain that God is more concerned with making you complete than He is concerned with making you comfortable. I know that many of you who read this are going through tough times right now. I love hearing from you and how I can be praying for you, or how you see God working in you. But let's face it, we all have problems that make us wonder if God is even real. What I want to remind you tonight, and what David was reminding us in this scripture is that we can expect to stumble even as we walk with God, but that we also need to not try and save ourselves during those times of stumbling because we "...will not fall, for the LORD upholds...".
Can you trust this word in your life? Times of stress and difficulty are the circumstances in which we get the opportunity to continue holding God's hand and see if He is trustworthy. I urge you to accept His offer to forgive you of your sins if you ask for it. I beg you to let go of your life so that you may find it as Jesus so accurately states. Lastly, I plead with you during your most difficult and trying times to let go of wondering if God loves you, or contemplating if He actually cares for you in favor of humbling yourself enough to trust that He works everything out for the good of those who love Him. Let Him make you mature in your faith as you learn to handle your life with humility. Only in humility, through perseverance are we made into the people God intends us to be.