What joy and peace there is when, like David in Psalms 56, we can say, “This I know: God is on my side.” What comfort in knowing that no matter how turbulent our circumstances, when God is for us, we don’t need to fear. Nothing is happening that He doesn’t see. We don’t face any of it alone. And if that is true, then why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
Something I’ve learned as I’ve shared the ugly of my story over the past several months is that there is something beautiful that happens in the body of Christ when we open up and let other believers see how far from perfect we really are. There is unity that comes from that place of vulnerability. People suddenly start to feel like maybe they aren’t alone and find the freedom to share their own struggles.
What I’ve learned from the many women who have contacted me in these months is that my story is not very unique. Not even in the church. And that’s really sad. The prevalence of sexual addiction and the abuse that inevitably shows up in marriages when it is present is overwhelming. But the Bible reminds me in passages like Psalms 56 that God sees it all. He’s working in spite of it, and He can be trusted.
So today I want to use this beautiful passage from the Word of God to encourage and inspire those of us who find ourselves down in the trenches of life. May we each find peace and joy and hope in our Lord and Savior and in His constant love and faithfulness to us!
When I Am Afraid, I Will Put My Trust in You
There is an ugliness that comes with sexual addictions. I don’t know if it’s the deep internal guilt, or if the hearts of the addicts are just so hard it makes them mean. But something causes so many of these men (there are probably women too, I just don’t really know about that.) to attack the wives they have already betrayed and hurt so badly. They blame. They name-call. They tear down every ounce of self-worth they can get their hands on. If they know of a weapon (a dirty secret or a shameful reaction) they use it.
One man I know of even had his wife put in jail. First he cheated on her for 16 years, lying to her all along and leading a double life, then he dragged her through months of painful discovery as he admitted to only bits and pieces of his infidelity and sinfulness. Finally, he told her that he wanted a divorce. In her desperation and anger she pushed him into the counter and he scratched his arm on the dish strainer. HE pressed assault charges against HER and now she’s the one with the criminal record! Can you even imagine?
Other men have turned pastors and even whole churches against their wives by keeping their own sins a secret while telling anyone who would listen lies and distorted half-truths about these desperately hurting ladies.
But the sad part is, this is far from the only sin that causes people to be hurtful and abusive to other people. Betrayal (of all kinds, not just infidelity) runs rampant in human relationships. And when we read through the Bible, especially the Psalms, we find it’s been the case for quite awhile. Chances are, it’s not changing anytime soon.
So our goal can’t be to find a way to make everyone else act honorably. Instead, we have to learn how we can respond with integrity to the brokenness in this world.
Psalms 56:1-7 – Oh God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what He has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me.
They come together to spy on me – watching my every step, eager to kill me.
Don’t let them get away with their wickedness; in Your anger, Oh God, bring them down.
I am amazed at the unshakable faith so many of the brave women I’ve had the honor to meet through this ministry have, even though they feel much like David did when he penned this beautiful psalm. They are being hounded, and slandered, and they are under constant attack! Their lives are in ruins. Their minds are plagued by fear and depression. Their futures here on this earth are so uncertain, they can’t see even a shadow of what lies ahead.
Yet in the midst of their fear these precious sisters put their trust in the Lord! They cling to His promises. They understand that they are under the care of the High King of Heaven and mere men can do nothing that He doesn’t allow. They somehow find the strength to believe that if He is allowing the pain and the misery then He will use it for their good and His glory! They appeal to Him, as David did, to rescue them. What glorious faith!
Ladies, you are true treasures! I am so blessed by your steadfast loyalty to our great God and so honored that you have trusted me with your stories! Your Heavenly Father is so very pleased with your faith, and you are so precious to Him! Keep trusting Him, keep obeying Him. He’s going to come through and make beauty from these ashes.
This I Know: God is On My Side
How I wish I could somehow fix all of our stories, and make them into fairy-tales. But I can’t. What I can do, is reassure us all that God cares. I can look at Scripture and say with confidence that when sin hurts us, He hurts too. These sins are a betrayal against Him as well and he feels every sting, every sorrow.
Psalms 56:8 – You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.
Don’t you just love the picture of God collecting our tears in His bottle? (Some of us may need buckets!) It reminds me of the verses in Isaiah that talk about a day when He will wipe away every tear. He is collecting each one, recording them, so that one glorious day He can wipe them all away! What a beautiful promise! I pray it brings you hope and encouragement and the strength to face another day!
He loves you so much!
What Can Mere Mortals Do to Me?
I don’t know when, and I don’t know how, but I do know that God will ease your suffering dear sisters, one way or another. That day is coming!
Psalms 56:9-11 – My enemies will retreat when I call to You for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
I praise God for what He has promised;
yes, I praise the Lord for what He has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?
We know the enemy (the forces of darkness) will retreat at the sound of His mighty Name. There is comfort in that promise and confidence too, so let’s call to Him for help. Because this is the promise – God is on your side!
Sometimes He asks us to wait a very long time before He reveals the purposes of His plans. It can be so hard to wait! But He always provides what we need to get through it. I know you already are, but let’s call to Him together once more.
“Dear God, help my precious sisters! They are wounded warriors in this dark battle. Upset the plots of their enemies. Take care of the details that weigh them down. Give them hope and help them to feel Your love!
They are being torn apart by mere men. You are God! All powerful. All knowing. Mighty to save. Perfect in all of Your ways. You can change these men. I’ve seen it. You can redeem these stories! I’m living it! You can provide for their every need. You hold us all in Your mighty hands.
Help these women, Your faithful followers, Your dearly loved daughters! Wrap Your loving arms around them and hold them close. They are more precious than rubies! We are trusting in You!
Psalms 56:12-13 – I will fulfill my vows to You, Oh God, and I will offer a sacrifice of thanks for Your help.
For You have rescued me from death; You have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in Your presence, Oh God, in Your life-giving light!
Praise Him! In Jesus’s Name, amen!”