Surrounded with favor

Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12, NIV)

I must confess that many times in my life and throughout my day, I don’t feel surrounded with God and His favor. Instead, I feel surrounded with evil and attacks on all sides and mainly from within. It becomes quite difficult to function because it is one thought after another. One sin after another. It eats at me. All I want is peace, yet the more I yearn for peace, it seems the more the attacks come. The more the evilness amps up their efforts.

What I love about this verse is the beautiful reminder that God blesses His children. He blesses them with His love that he would take people completely undeserving of even sniffing the word righteous, and calls them righteous. I confess that so much of my life that is the least thing I feel. I don’t feel righteous at all. I feel completely opposed to God because of the weight of my sin. Because of the attacks on my daily life by sin and temptation, who am I to even be called that word.

But, even better and the greatest news is that I am that. I am righteous. All because of God’s love. All because God poured out his love on the cross. Because of that blood. Because of what Jesus did, I have been declared righteous.

Pause with me for a moment. Think about that. Just imagine for a second that we stand in a courtroom before the judge; with charges against us that is 100 miles long. You don’t even have the strength to lift your head to look at the judge. The judge looks over the docket. You know you doom is sealed. You know you will be in the gallows this night. They won’t even wait to send you to jail to face your execution. Don’t pass go, just straight to your execution. The moments tick by. You see the judge reading every charge. The murder. The adultery. The blasphemy. The counterfeit gods. The lies. The hate. The anger. The lust. Oh the weight of it all is too much to bear. The accuser has made so many arguments against you. The prosecution brought up things you thought would never be mentioned. No one knew those things. All you can muster is a sigh as you wait your fate. Finally, you hear a sound. BANG! BANG! You can’t even look as the judge bangs his gavel. The judge begins to speak, “I find you…” the pause is excruciating. “Not guilty.” You look up astonished and you see the judge with a smile on his face. “You are a free man.” But how? Because of the greatest advocate the world has ever seen. Because of our Defender, we are free and found not guilty.

That is what the Lord did for us. He took our sins that when God looks on us, He sees Jesus. He sees Jesus! Plus, He sees us as His children. We will never be un-adopted. He will never leave us no matter what we do or say or how much we fail.

The reason I wanted to bring this up today is because when the attacks come on who we are, when the attacks come of our old sinful selves, when the attacks come from temptations of this world; remember God is with you. It may not always feel like it, but during those times is when we need to see our desperation and cry out for God. We need to see just how much we need God to come rescue us. And, best of all, He will. It may not be our timing. It may not be our way. But God will come and surround us like a shield. I love how Psalm’s is loaded with constant reminders that God is our refuge, our shield, our strong tower, our defender, our foundation, and our refuge among the many more.

How great a promise is that! God is with us and will protect us and has protected us in ways we don’t even know a thousand times a day! Even in the verse before, David reminds us how great a joy it is to seek God and take refuge in Him. We can be glad when we are in God. That no matter what is attacking us. No matter what tricks Satan is doing to our mind and twisting our words, we can be so glad that we will even be able to sing for joy. Joy, magnificent joy!

But why? Because the Lord loves us. He loves us so much that He sacrificed His Son for us. He spreads His protection over us. Even during those times when we feel alone and are so hurt, God is with you. He is protecting us. He is protecting us through these times that we may rejoice in Him. We may rejoice in the power of His name. A name so powerful that we cannot even understand its power. A name so strong, so beautiful, so sweet, so mighty, so sacred that when we mention it, the knees of evil start knocking together out of fear.

On a day like this, when I don’t see how God could love me. On a day filled with attacks from Satan, the Lord is blessing me and surrounding me with his favor as with a shield. A man unworthy of such attention, yet by the grace of God can find rest. A day full of battle. A day full of defeat. A day full of hurts and pains and scars. God says, “I love you. You are my child. I bless you as righteous. Now, find rest in my grace. Here is peace. Just trust me. Call on me. Let go. Let me fight for you.”

Psalm 5 is filled with so many treasures like the reverence David shows in verse 7. Also, his call to have God lead him and make his path straight. As David cries out, the Lord hears. As I cry out, I can read Psalm 5 and be reminded God hears and knows my struggles. He is strong enough to overcome it all. And He is protecting me now.

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