Don’t Be Ashamed
Have you ever been really ashamed? I mean so ashamed that you wanted to go off somewhere and hide forever? Did you want to dig a hole somewhere, crawl into it and then pull the hole in after you? Listen to Psalm 25:1-3: “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.” David was concerned lest he bring disgrace upon the name of the Lord.
When you and I are anxious not to be ashamed, we want to live a life that is true to the Lord. We don’t want anyone to use us as an excuse for sin or to single us out as “one of those Christians.” So one of our first considerations must be the glory of God. This is what David was talking about in the first three verses. He was saying, “God, I don’t want anybody to do anything that will rob You of glory.” Why don’t we do certain things? Because God won’t be glorified. Some things might not hurt me, and some places might not defile me. But they might hurt the glory of God. They might harm an immature believer. When my wife and I started to have a family, we discovered we couldn’t leave certain things on the table. When my wife and I were the only ones in the apartment, I could leave a knife on the table or scissors on the floor–but not when the children came along.
Our second consideration must be the will of God. “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me” (vv. 4,5). When you are concerned about the glory of God and the will of God, you must depend on the grace of God. “Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses” (v. 6). When these three elements are in your life, you will never be ashamed or bring disgrace to the name of the Lord. Instead, you will live a life that pleases God.
Follow Your Leader
I have very little sense of direction. Fortunately, my wife has built-in radar. If she didn’t travel with me, I’m afraid I would not get where I’m supposed to go. I would often be lost. David was talking about the guidance of God in Psalm 25:8-15. So much has been said in recent days about God’s guidance. Does God still guide us? Does He have a specific plan for each of our lives? How does He guide us? Well, David talked about that, and he gave us some very simple instructions.
We must start with meekness. “The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way” (v. 9). Meekness means that we are not telling God what to do, we are not counseling God. Who could possibly His counselor anyway? No, the meek person receives the Word of God and is submissive to the will of God. “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies” (v. 10). God does not reveal His will to thsoe who are curious. He reveals His will to those who are obedient.
God guides those who are concerned about His glory. “For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great” (v. 11). Surely goodness and mercy will follow us, but they won’t do so unless we are walking in the will of God for the glory of God, for His name’s sake. “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (23:3). That leads us to the fear of the Lord. “Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him He shall teach in the way He chooses” (25:12). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (111:10). Finally, we must be alert to God’s guidance. “My eyes are ever toward the Lord” (25:12). We must watch and pray. We must keep our eyes open if we want our Shepherd to lead us.
I wonder if you and I have these qualities in our lives–meekness, obedience, a desire for God’s glory, the fear of the Lord and eyes that are open to see which way He is leading?
I Want Out!
“The troubles of my heart have enlarged; oh, bring me out of my distresses!” (v. 17). Have you ever prayed like that? David did. I’m like David. I’ve prayed that way: “Bring me out!” What kind of answer did God give to David? Well, ultimately David was brought out of his distresses. Ultimately he was put on the throne, and his enemies were defeated. However, David had to go through some difficult years before God finally brought him to that place of glory and victory.
If you have ever prayed this way, stop and think, Is this the most important prayer we can pray? “The troubles of my heart have enlarged; oh, bring me out of my distresses!” My first inclination in times of difficulty is to pray, “Bring me out!” Bring me out!” But I should be praying, “Build me up. Build me up.” God enlarges us be enlarging our troubles. And when He sees that we are growing, then He is able to give us larger places of service and ministry. It’s sort of a weaning process. When a child is being weaned from his mother, he’s fretful and unhappy. He things, Mother doesn’t love me anymore. But why is she weaning him? Because she wants him to grow up and mature. He cannot go through life depending on his mother. That’s what David was finding out. So instead of praying, “Bring me out,” I should be praying, “O God, build me up.”
When you and I are in times of difficulty and distress, the important thing is not that we get out of it but what we get out of it. “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work” (James 1:2-4). If you find yourself going through a time of trouble today, if the troubles of your heart are enlarged, remember that God wants to enlarge you and give you a larger place of ministry.
copyright, Warren W. Wiersbe
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).