First Verse, a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 38

O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your rage!
(Psalm 38:1, NLT)

I’m one of those people who have a sensitive heart.  So, I usually try to learn things quickly in life because I don’t like being in trouble, even when its an honest mistake.  I work hard at doing the right thing.  I try to obey all traffic laws, heed signs that are posted, and do things that are asked of me.  I aim to please.

I tend to have the same approach in my relationship with the Lord.  I try to learn what He is teaching me quickly, because I don’t like being in trouble with Him.  I work hard at doing the right thing.  I try to keep His word, do what He tells me to do, and do the things expected of me as a believer.  I aim to please.

So I can totally identify with the Psalmist’s cry.

Don’t be angry at me, Lord.  Don’t be furious.

But as I grow in my faith and as the Lord trusts me with things outside my comfort zone, I discover a spark of fear, a hint of rebellion, and even the tenacity to say, “no.”

And as I grow in my faith, the Lord digs a bit deeper into the recesses of my heart.  As He pulls out ugly things, things hidden for a long time, I scramble to rebury them, hasten to make excuses, and even stubbornly say, “not mine.”

In those moments, I cringe.  Don’t be angry at me Lord.  Don’t be furious.

Because it seems that way.  And I don’t like being in trouble.

But in truth, He is acting out of love.

I appreciate how the Message puts it in Hebrews 12:6-7

“My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children.”

And its all for His good purpose.

“We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, GNT)

Where is the Lord causing discomfort in your life? Where do you feel He is angry with you? Instead of crying out in dismay, know He is doing it out of love and ask Him what He is teaching you.

Father, instead of crying out in dismay over your correction, comfort me with the knowledge of your outpouring of love over me. Your love flows from the plans you have for me, good plans, not meant to harm me, but to direct me into the future and the hope you have for me.”

Grace & Peace


About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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