Today, Wednesday January 18
The Most Miserable Person
“When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah”
Yesterday I said that the most joyful, happy, blessed person around is the one who knows that he is forgiven, and his sin is covered and gone (vv. 1-2). Today, I want to talk about the most miserable person around. It is the person who is a believer but has sinned and, in his pride, will not admit it or confess it, but tries to cover it up. The lost person really does find and have pleasure in their sin, even if the pleasure is short lived. Hebrews 11:25 speaks of “enjoying the pleasure of sin for a season”. But James 1:15 also reminds us that the end of sin is always death.
The genuine believer can’t enjoy his or her sin and at the same time enjoy fellowship with the Lord and other Christians.! They are most miserable!
Now in Psalm 32:3-4, David tells his own story and honestly admits what a fool he had been to hide his sins for almost a year. Charles Spurgeon said, "God does not permit His children to sin successfully." The Lord chastened David for almost a year and made him miserable until he stopped lying, humbled himself before God, and confessed his sins.
What happened to David during those difficult months? For one thing, he became a physical wreck. He was probably about fifty when he disobeyed the Lord, but he began to feel and look like a sick old man. Usually robust and ready for action, David now had constant pain in his body (see Psalm 51:8) and was groaning ("roaring," KJV) because of it. The hand of God was heavy upon him, and instead of feeling fresh and full of vigor, he was dried up like a plant during a drought (see Psalm 38:2 and 39:10). Did he have a fever that dehydrated him? Whatever it was, he was miserable, for he had a defiled conscience, a worried mind ("When will I be found out?"), and a sick body. But it was worth the pain, for the experience brought him back to the Lord.
Chastening isn't a judge punishing a criminal; it's a loving Father dealing with His disobedient children to bring them willingly to the place of surrender. God's chastening is proof that He loves us and that we are genuinely His children. Please read these verses from Hebrews 12:5-13 carefully:
The writer of Hebrews first quotes from Proverbs 3:11-12. “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives."
Then he goes on to say:
“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”
Then the writer encourages us with these words: “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”
When we cover or try to hide our sins we will not prosper (Proverbs 28:13). God will give us grace to deal with our sin, but we must humble ourselves and receive it. Like I said, I am convinced that the most miserable and bitter people are usually believers who refuse to submit to the Lord’s discipline. But thank the Lord for 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”