I have been chewing on this Psalm all week. Here are a couple of the nuggets I have found:
"I sought the Lord and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed." vs. 4-5
Those who look to the Lord will never be ashamed. Think about it again. Those who look to the Lord will never be ashamed! Their faces are radiant. The pleasure of looking to God physically overflows from their countenances. Shame hunts all of us. When we look to the world we find shame. When we look to those around us we often find shame. When we look to ourselves we find shame. Because of this, our hearts have a tendency to expect to find shame when we look to God. If I've failed in the eyes of man or myself, then surely there is no way I could have not failed in the eyes of God. But the exact opposite is true. God is never disappointed with us. Something I gleaned out of The Shack by William Young (a must read!). God places no expectations on us. They are manmade contrivances. If He has no expectations (because He is sovereign and knows all already), then how can we disappoint him. Therefore it makes sense that all who look to the Lord will never be ashamed. It is often the place we most fear to look, but it is the place that will best heal and care for our shamed and wounded hearts!
"The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned." vs. 22
The Lord redeems. He takes what is broken and makes it whole. He transforms the ugly into beauty, the bad into good. That is hope! None of those who take refuge in the Lord will be condemned. That is freedom! I will face no condemnation from the Lord. So many picture God as one who is waiting to slap us when we make a wrong move. Another skewed manmade perception. It is not His heart to condemn and those of us who have put our trust in Him can live without fear of His condemnation.