Today’s homework (Breaking Free: Updated, Bible study by Beth Moore) reviewed Psalm 107. I remembered when I first read this Psalm while doing Breaking Free back in 2005. The words, “unfailing love” especially resonated with me. How many times had I believed that God did not love me because of things that had happened in my life? Too many to count. But there, in black and white, I began to realize how it was because of God’s unfailing love that He allowed those things; some were allowed so that I would turn from my rebellion and turn to Him and cry out for help and deliverance. I’ve been rebellious many times in my life, and I’ve lived to regret it. Verses 10-16 in this psalm are my testimony:
10 Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 for they had rebelled against the words of God
and despised the counsel of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
and cuts through bars of iron.
Years before I began having panic attacks, two of my friends had urged me to get back in Sunday School and church, but I thought I had too many things on my plate to add church to it. Then my Sunday School teacher visited me, but I wasn’t interested. I was too busy. Without being aware of what I was doing, I had put “the clay” before the Potter. (Isaiah 29:16 and Isaiah 64:8) My bitter labor was birthed from my rebellion. I starved my spirit for the sake of my pride. Life became all about me—my hurts, my problems, my wants, my needs, my desires. By the time I had made the decision to go back to church and rejoin the choir, it was too late. The stresses of life without leaning on Christ had taken its toll and I began having panic attacks. A life turned inward sickens the soul. I was soul-sick. Like one of those in Psalm 107:12, I stumbled, and there was no one to help.
But by the grace of God, I also became like one of those in verses 13-16. I finally cried out to Him and He broke down the gates of my depression; He cut through the chains of pride and fear that had held me captive for too long. I discovered God really did love me. Even when I didn’t feel loved, He loved me. God’s Word doesn’t use feelings as our foundation for faith. Feelings change as soon as our thoughts change. When I began to believe that God loved me with an unfailing love, I began to rely on it every day—whether I felt it or not--and my mind healed, as well as my soul. I fed my spirit on the richness of God's Word and I began to truly live.
Want to hear something really cool? This morning my youngest son sent me the lyrics of a song he was listening to. “I shut my eyes I still my feelings; Feelings, feelings; Listening with closed eyes I rest in Your guidance.”
I still my feelings—I rest in Your guidance. That is real faith…and underneath that faith is the knowledge of the unfailing love of God.