I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. Psalm 34:4-5 NLT
I discovered this verse earlier this year. Since then, it has become my call to arms. I often write about prayer, how the God who created the world want to hear from us and answers when we call. Sometimes those answers are immediate, even as we are praying, like the prophets (Daniel 9:21, Isaiah 65:24). Other times, we wait in expectation for an answer (Psalm 5:3, 130:6). Answers may not come in the form we hope or desire, but God’s plan is always perfect (Romans 12:2). Our limited earthly vision is like viewing one of those tiny black and white rectangular antenna TVs, where God’s vision is like an IMAX. We see only what is immediate, but He can see every outcome of every variable. He allows us to choose. He allows us to live in the consequences of those choices. He also provides forgiveness, redemption, and grace.
Google defines radiant as “sending out light; shining or glowing brightly.” Radiance is the opposite of darkening despair in the shadows of shame. With the Lord as my helper, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1)
Some days, the world seems darker than ever with Christians being forced into the shadows by the raging public opinion and the widespread acceptance of sin. Shame is reflected on those standing for Truth, rather than on the ones practicing evil. Even the strongest person could be duped into false guilt under such conditions. In reality, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:4-11), we simply have greater access to more information more quickly than ever before in history. The problems that are present now existed when Solomon wrote those words, when Jesus walked the earth, and in the early days of the church. Longing for “the good old days” is a fallacy (Ecclesiastes 7:10). It is time for Christians to stand in the Light and cast off the shame. It is time to stop making excuses and let the blame go to the guilty, not the ones opposing the sin. Unfortunately, the world has always had individuals that refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and pass the blame to others. All actions will have consequences, we have the freedom to decide how we live with those consequences. Some solutions will only cause more problems. For the individual unwilling to accept responsibility, this is a vicious cycle. Hope remains because God is willing to rescue those who call to him (read the rest of Psalm 34). He wants all to be saved, but salvation by grace requires obedience (1 Tim. 2:3-4, 2 Pet. 3:9).
Are you a believer yet hiding in the shadows of shame? Maybe you haven’t started to walk in the Light. Maybe you fear that your past is too much for God to forgive. Scripture indicates nothing is too big for God to forgive. He stands ready to rescue the one who calls, even from the shadows of shame, and bring them into everlasting Light!
This post is part of the One Word Blog Linkup hosted by, Janine and Lisa! This week, the word prompt choices are SHAME and LIGHT. If you would like to join the linkup you can find more information HERE, sign up for weekly emails HERE, and/or join our Facebook group HERE. Every Friday, two prompts are emailed. Choose one and write a post using that word as inspiration. Linkup up any time between 6:00am EST on Wednesday-9:00pm EST on Thursdays on any of the host sites.
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