“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
Do you rest on the fact that you are generally a good person who tries to do good things? Or do you rest in Christ Jesus, knowing that He alone is where your hope is found? King David penned the words in Psalm 139 knowing that the God of the universe could be trusted with his most personal thoughts, his most shameful sins, and the worries that kept him up at night. David’s hope was securely anchored in God, trusting that God would lead him along the path of everlasting life as He convicted him of his sins.
Asking God to reveal can be painful. Do I really want God to search my heart — a heart that struggles with bitterness, jealousy, and anger? Do I actually want God to hear those insecure, worried thoughts I think? Do I truly want God to point out everything in me that offends Him?
The reason I pray this prayer isn’t so that I can be reminded of my struggles and sins, but because my hope is rooted in God, who is gracious and merciful. These lines to the hymn “Solid Rock” are a perfect picture of the grace and mercy we receive when we put our hope in Christ Jesus.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
I take great comfort in these truths; I know that it is not the state of my heart, but because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice, that I can stand before God, worthy of everlasting life.
Jesus, thank You that I have the hope of everlasting life because of Your sacrifice on the cross. Thank You for pointing out the sin in my heart, my thoughts, and my actions so that I may grow to become more like You. Lead me along the path of righteousness and truth today. Amen.
“Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of foreigners,” Psalms 144:7
One of my all-time favorite movies is The Guardian. The whole movie follows a class of recruits on their journey into the United States Coast Guard. They met their instructor early on in the movie and are in for quite a treat. The instructor of the class was a famous rescue swimmer himself. His main role as a rescue swimmer was to dive into rough waters and save those drowning in the ocean or stuck on a sinking ship. This is an incredibly dangerous job, even life threatening. He would have to walk through fires, move barriers, and dive deep into the ocean to save people. One thing he told the recruits early on was that if you want to be in the United States Coast Guard you have to be willing to save people who do not want to be saved. Whether that person wants to be saved or not, their job was to do everything in their power to save them.
In real life, when rescue swimmers attempt to save people stranded in the ocean, many of those needing rescued fight with the rescuers, push them under the water, or refuse to move. We may think to ourselves how could this ever happen? Why would these people not want to be saved? I think there are several reasons for this. People are scared, they feel like no one can save them, they feel like they are better off not being saved, or they are too prideful to allow someone else to help them.
The sad reality is that people do not respond like this in only their physical lives, but they also respond this way in their spiritual lives. By ourselves, we are sinful, broken, and hopeless. People have tried for centuries to fix their own lives only to discover that they more they try to fix their lives, the more broken they become. We need someone to rescue us. We need a Savior.
The great news is that we have the perfect Savior. The God of the universe sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to come into this world and save us from our sins. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for us, and rose again three days later. He is alive today, reaching out His hand for us to grab onto. All we have to do is let go of ours sins, fears, and pride. We turn to Him and ask Him to save us. When we do this, His mighty hand restores our brokenness, and one day He promises to bring us to eternal safety and peace in Heaven, away from the rough and dangerous waters of this world.
The sad news, however, is many people will never grab hold of His outstretched hand. No matter how deep the waters become around them, they will refuse to be saved. They may refuse this because of fear, pride, or doubt. They believe they are not worthy to be saved or they still believe the lie that that can fix all their problems on their own. When the storm ends for these people, instead of arriving in a perfect, peaceful place, a new storm in their lives will begin.
The truth, however, is that if you are still living, the Savior’s hand is still outstretched for you. No matter how many times you have pushed Him away, ignored Him, and tried to handle things on your own, He is still swimming after you. All you have to do is let go and let the Savior of the world rescue you and save you from all your sins. As soon as you give your life to Him, a new life in you will begin. The Savior has arrived, now it is your turn to allow yourself to be saved.
Are you willing to let the Savior rescue you? Why don’t you ask Him to come into your life today, thank Him for forgiving your sins and ask Him to direct your life from this day forward. The following is a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.