1: "Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned." – David speaks from first-hand experience. His sins were very great and weighing him down until he confessed them to God.
3: "When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long." – The burdened of guilt and unrepented sin can cause physical ailments and depression.
5: "Then I confessed my sins to you and didn't hide my guilt. I said, 'I will confess my sins to the Lord,' and you forgave my guilt." – God has always been actively involved in erasing those things in people's lives that cause separation from Him.
6: "For this reason, all who obey you should pray to you while they still can. When troubles rise like a flood, they will not reach them." – Staying connected to God in daily prayer provides us with strength, comfort, and guidance that will lead us and protect us from the troubles that threaten our lives.
8-9: "The Lord says, 'I will make you wise and show you where to go. I will guide you and watch over you. So don't be like a horse or donkey, that doesn't understand. They must be led with bits and reins, or they will not come near you.'" – God speaks in this psalm and He says that there are different ways to be led: wisely following where God wants us to go or stubbornly tugging at the bit and bridle.
10: "Wicked people have many troubles, but the Lord's love surrounds those who trust Him." – Rejoice in the love of the Lord.
Points to Contemplate:
Are you feeling weak? Sad? Depressed?
David suggests that these may be symptoms of unrepented sin. Have you confessed of your sins? Have you prayed for God's forgiveness? Do you recognize that along with confession you must also bring a commitment to change your behavior? Are you keeping things to yourself or giving your burdens to God? When you do, do you feel relief? Are you happy?
Are you "praying while you still can?" Is prayer an important part of your day? Do you begin each morning in prayer? Do you find yourself in conversation with God throughout the day as you face the challenges and stresses of life? Do you ask for His guidance? Do you give Him your worries? Do you see how habitual prayer, prayer that takes place nearly automatically, can help keep troubles at bay? Are you able to better discern God's active role and guidance the more you pray?
Does God speak to you? God spoke in his psalm, interjecting a thought just as anyone would in normal conversation. When you are in prayer, does God interject His thoughts? Are your prayers conversations with God? Why are we, as a society, so reluctant to recognize God's conversational contributions? If we expect God to be deeply involved in our lives, why would we not expect to experience communication? Are only a few people given the gift of discernment or do we all have it and are simply refusing to recognize it? What would be different in your life if you could be in constant conversation with God?1
Are you being led by God? Do you willingly follow His guidance wherever it might lead? Or do you pull, scrap, and resist every step along the way? Does this mean God is intent on a specific destination for your life and He will get you there by whatever means it takes? As a stubborn mule, are you making your pathway longer and more arduous? Are you being forced to learn difficult lessons? Do you constantly resort to your own desires? Is there an easier way? Are the rewards greater and the pathway easier should you choose to deny yourself and follow Christ? Promise of the Gospel:
Prayer, confession, repentance, and faithfulness; these are the attributes of the righteous. When we willingly turn to God and ask for His guidance in every aspect of our lives we are led upon a path that smoothly takes us to the glory that God intends. When we resist and pull in directions of our own choosing we may find our selves in the thickets and pot-holes of life. God wants us to draw close. He wants us to hear Him speak. He wants to lead us through the twists and turns of life in ways that grow us into the disciples that He has intended all along. All we need to do is to give up the bridle and follow close at His heels.
1"Friendship with God – an uncommon dialogue" by Neale Donald Walsch, author of "Conversations with God," G.P Putnam's Sons, 1999.