When did you last thank God for just being God?
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, January 26, 2019
“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. — Psalm 18:1-2 (The Bible, New International Version)
When was the last time you thanked God for just being God? When did you pour your heart out to Him in appreciation? When did you speak aloud your words in prayer? When did you write your words down in your journal? When was the last time you took the time to consider just how great your God is?
In Psalm 18, David sincerely pours out his heart in deep appreciation to God. His enemies, Saul and Absalom (his son), who were trying to kill him and remove him from his throne, were defeated. The Philistines, a regional warring nation, were subdued. David’s kingdom was secure for the most part. For the first time in a long time, David could take a breath. He could stop and think and reflect. And when he did, he chose to give God his deep admiration. Psalm 18 records his thoughts.
Do you love God? David does, and he tells us why. For him, the Lord is strength, a rock, a fortress, and a deliverer. His God is a shield and a horn, a stronghold, and a fort. In shouting out the characteristics of God, he reminds himself who God is and what God wants to do for him. It is great to have a God so strong with so much saving power for you!
David remembered his past, when the threats of death and defeat were very real. He chose to cry out to the only One who could save him. He chose not to wreak vengeance on his enemies, but to allow God to act for him. He knew God desired to deliver him, especially if his heart and hands were clean. God is also ready to respond to you in your time of need. But remember, God responds to your cries in a manner that matches your heart. If you are faithful, He is faithful. If you are blameless, He is blameless. If you are pure, He is pure. If you are devious and are trying to manipulate God, He is shrewd and will see through your fake heart.
Does God stand ready to help you, too?
David remembered God’s grace. Justice from the Lord means we receive what we deserve. God forbid! Mercy from the Lord means we do not receive what we deserve. May we be so fortunate! Grace from the Lord means receiving from the Lord those blessings which we do not deserve. David ponders God’s grace. In God’s grace there is strength for you and me, like David, to live through the struggles of life.
Never forget, God is in control. Even when all around you is dark. Even when all hope is missing, God is not missing. I am sure at times that it must feel like all hope is gone. Remember that our God is not absent but present, not obscure but clear, not deaf but listening, not powerless but powerful, not uncaring but caring. Through His Son, the kingdom has come and is coming. Light has broken through; darkness and the evil one tremble. We wait in hope until the full dawn when the Lord shall come, and darkness shall be no more. In this hope we pray.
So, when your storm has passed, what will you do? To whom will you give the credit for surviving? I hope, like David, you will thank God for being God. He is your champion. He is your savior. He is great. His Kingdom has and will come.
Dr. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of the university.