In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. - Psalm 120:1
While we find psalmists cry out to the Lord in their distress for many different reasons, this specific author happened to be surrounded by liars and asks God to deliver him from the deceit.
The word “deceitful” in verse 2 refers to a deep and wounding lie. This isn’t one of those little white lies or the kind of gossip borne of boredom or an innocent mistake. “Deceit” is translated as “treacherous” and is associated with shooting arrows. It implies an intentional lie that is nasty or cutting, and causes damage to your reputation. These lies pierce like sharp arrows. They are meant to hurt.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of one of these destructive lies, then you know the pain they can cause. Sadly, I am all too familiar with the heartache caused by lies that intentionally hurt. I’ve been falsely accused of the kind of untruths that have the power to destroy my reputation, my career, my family, and my life. Without any warning, when i was already physically and spiritually weak ended, I found myself accused of an unthinkable crime.
My initial reaction when accused was to defend myself - and not just to defend myself, but to hire a professional to defend me. I needed to protect myself and my reputation - these kind of accusations didn’t just go away on their own.
But it wasn’t long before God got ahold of me - through my youngest child, with the simple question: Who are you going to trust, Mom? God or the attorney? No contest. I was going to trust God. But surrendering my trial and trusting that He would reign, that He would overcome the evils in front of me, that He would reveal the truth, and that He would bring justice was the most challenging trial I had ever walked through up until that point.
I know now the many reasons that God allowed me to walk through that trial - He had lessons to reveal to me, and He had lives to save though the accusations. But while I was in the trial, I experienced the same level of distress this psalmist experienced. Throughout that trial, I cried out to Him to save me. I clung to the truth that God knew the truth, and that in His timing, the truth would be revealed. As the psalmist does, I prayed fervently that I would be delivered and justice would be served. I had no power to reveal the truth or serve justice in my own strength.
God allowed this trial in my life to grow my faith by revealing the parts of my heart that were not fully surrendered to Him. I didn’t trust that He would save me - not in my core. I believed He was God, and I believed that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, but I didn’t fully trust that He would save me. I mistakenly believed that I still had control. So He allowed a trial that took away my power in order to reveal His sovereignty, His power, and His steadfast love to me.
Growing up in a home with deep manipulative deceit, I had a so many strongholds that needed breaking. I was controlling and struggled to trust. Whenever I was wronged, I would rise up in angry defense, and I had a tendency to shut the other person down with such hurtful words that I left a trail of destroyed relationships in my past. I never considered what the other person might be going through, I only considered myself and how I was being impacted.
This trial helped me to understand that God’s plan is so much grander than anything I can imagine. And if I stopped for a minute, if I listened, and I watched Him work instead of always stepping in His way to dole out my own bit of justice, then He just might be able to work through my life.
We are called to cry out to Him when we are in distress as a result of being falsely accused, and when we do, He promises to save.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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