The other day I was praying that God would enable my creativity for a project I was noodling on for work. But I was also aware that I was struggling pretty brutally with pride in the whole thing and, might I add, not feeling particularly victorious. I also conveniently remembered a way I had spoken to one of my children that had not been particularly, well, loving. Then something came back to me that maybe will give your soul hope as it does mine.
I am currently being amazed by God's thoughts in Psalm 25. For one thing, I like that the whole psalm can be a prayer for me; nearly all of it applies to me all the time! Bonus. (It's a repentant psalm. :)
But here's a sample of what's captured my thoughts lately.
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his
covenant. (vv.9, 10, 14)
To get to the point, here's what I love about this verse:
Old thought: If I've "been righteous" today, hopefully God will bless me, answer my prayers, etc.
New thought: Jesus pointed to the prayer, "Have mercy on me, a sinner"--and away from the Pharisee who seemed to have his act together before God. My favor with God is based on Jesus' perfection, not mine (which is nonexistent. See Heb. 4:14-16). In repentance, I give Him the opportunity to change me. God actually yearns to teach me, even befriend me and, according to the NIV, confide in me when I realize just how much I need to be taught.
Check out Isaiah 66:
"Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that
you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?
"All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be," declares the
"But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word."
The way I read this, God made the world and the heavens, but chooses to dwell with the humble, contrite person who fears Him and realizes his (her) actual position before Him.
I can see why the one who has been forgiven much loves much!