A Season of Psalms - Psalm 17: 3-5
“You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress. With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
My daughter likes puzzles. She’s always been fascinated with putting all the pieces together and seeing the finished product. Once she sees the final picture, she pulls all the pieces apart and puts it back together again. I’m grateful for the 500-1000 piece puzzles that take a little more time, and after it’s put together, you’re more likely to enjoy it a little bit longer.
What’s often puzzling is suffering for doing right. This kind of suffering—suffering for righteousness’ sake, according to Peter—is a perennial puzzle to the child of God. David knew his share of it, but he also knew what to do about it. Rather than seek revenge, retribution, violence, and evil thoughts, David instead took his case to the Righteous Judge and advocated his innocence. He was confident that he would receive a fair trial.
When we take our case to God, He knows our hearts. He knows us in the darkness as well as the light. He knows how we’ll respond to adversity. Jesus understands our every weakness. Remember, he was tempted as we are, but yet He didn’t sin. This gives us confidence that we can approach the throne of grace boldly and receive aid in our time of need. The next time you suffer unjustly, don’t look down in puzzlement; look up with hope! God stands ready to deliver!
Further Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 Peter 3:14-17
Pray with me:
Father, we confess we don’t often understand why we suffer. But we are willing to suffer for doing good, because our Savior suffered for our sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to You. Help us to be stewards of Your grace today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.