Published on May 6th, 2015 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0


There are some people who are just not caught up on all the social rules of society.  Often the filter on their mouth is not working exactly as we think it should.  Therefore, since they are so honest, we are often encouraged and insulted all at the same time.  For instance, “You have one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen (they are honest so we are encouraged)…your big nose doesn’t even distract from it like you think it would” (they are honest so we are insulted).  Think Sheldon on Big Bang Theory.  Every once in a while the Bible seems to do the same thing.  Although I think the problem lies more with our incessant need for confirmation and not the honesty of the Word of God, these verses do take us back a little bit.  But, if we take the time to really listen to the truths in the verses, rather than looking for “more uplifting” verses, we will find great gems of encouragement.  Let me share with you one such passage:

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.  For he knows our frames; he remembers that we are dust.”  Ps. 103:13,14.

These verses are found right in the middle of a great passage that speaks to God removing our sins as far as the east is from the west and the fleeting life of man in contrast to the steadfast love of the LORD.  We are very encouraged that God would show us such great compassion.  We need compassion.  We need for someone to understand that we may fail and that we, at times, may need help and encouragement.  But we are also a little insulted…dust?  Come on, can’t we come up with something better than that?  In Psalm 8 we are told that we are made a little lower than the angels and that we are lord over the works of God’s hands.  That is a little more dignified than “he remembers that we are dust”.  The reason we are insulted is because we want God to have compassion on us and help us out a little bit when things get a little overwhelming.  We can handle most things, we can carry our own weight, but in really big storms, then we would love some compassion and help.  God, on the other hand, has great compassion on us because he knows we are weak and easily blown away.  He remembers us when we were still that dust on the ground.  He remembers forming us out of the dust in the ground.  He, above all others, knows our limitations and weaknesses and out of his great love for us, shows compassion on us.

Lauren Whitman, in her article “You are Dust-and God Gets That”, makes a great point about all of this.  We strive so hard to handle life on our own.  We strive so hard to prove ourselves to God.  We strive so hard to try and be strong and perfect.  God, on the other hand, realizes we are dust and so he sent his Son to come and die on our behalf so that we could stand in his righteousness and measure up to the Father.  Jesus came and conquered death so that we, too, could live forever if we are in Christ.  When we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross we are then in Christ and we are able to live godly lives and to conquer sin and death.  And when we struggle, God has great compassion for this dust that is striving to learn to walk in his strength and his power.  When we fail he picks us up and brushes us off (not too strongly, we are just dust you know) and strengthens us in Christ and his Word.  He is patient with us, he is our strength, and he shows us great compassion.

These truths, if we embrace them, can bring great peace and rest.  Our walk with Christ here on earth is often one that is full of struggles, failures, and weaknesses.  God knows that and has great compassion on us.  He has great patience for us.  He provides for us strength in the work of Jesus, his Word, and the Holy Spirit.  Our goal today shouldn’t be to stop struggling, but to find the strength we need in God’s gifts to us.  When you fail, know that God’s compassion embraces you.

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