Despair, discouragement feelings of guilt and failure all take a toll on the life of an individual. For the Christian, these bring any spiritual growth to a halt. God desires for every believer to pursue fellowship with Him through faith. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God learned and properly applied to the circumstances of life become the sources of power in the spiritual advance of the Christian. However, without knowledge of the divine provisions to face the challenges of life, the individual is aimlessly adrift on the sea of human opinion and solutions.
King Solomon gave this directive … “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight” (Prov 3:5-6 NIV). But to trust requires knowledge of God’s promises and of His essence so that these can be mixed with faith and produce within the soul of the believer rest, confidence and the assurance that God is at work to glorify Himself and cause that which comes into our lives to result in good that God produces. The Apostle Paul stated this succinctly … “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28-29 NIV).
Loving God is only possible as we learn of Him through His Word. It is in His Word that His solutions and answers are revealed so that the Christian’s life can be one of stability and confidence, not as a result one’s own abilities, but rather trusting the greatness and faithfulness of the Heavenly Father. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). The Apostle Peter expands on the words of James … “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV).
Genuine humility recognizes God’s solutions and answers to the problems of life. After placing one’s faith in Christ as Savior, the Christian must learn of God’s grace provision for maintaining fellowship with Him. While relationship is permanent, for that defines eternal life, fellowship can be interrupted by thoughts and acts that are sinful. Fellowship must be restored for any spiritual growth to occur.
Some attempt to remedy being out of God’s will, that is, broken fellowship, through additional acts of good works, penance, or making rash promises to God that cannot be kept. God’s solution for restoration to fellowship is clearly stated when the Apostle John wrote … “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NIV). It is that simple but unfortunately ignored, because human nature has the tendency to want to “do” something to make it up to God. Failure to utilize this promise of restoration leads to frustration, discouragement, feelings of guilt and failure. The individual becomes pre-occupied with self and in seeking his own solutions to his problems is unable to appropriate by faith God’s promises and find rest for the soul.
David found himself in that condition … “When I kept silent [refusing to admit his sin], my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD" — and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Ps 32:3-5 NIV). Note the rest for his soul that ensued when he was restored to fellowship … “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Ps 32:7 NIV).