6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Numbers 28:16-29:40
Luke 3:23-38
Psalm 62:1-12
Proverbs 11:18-19

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 62:8 (NLT): “O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

As a young Christian, I believed a lie about my prayer life. I thought that “mature” prayers focused on others. I falsely believed that it was the prayer of an immature Christian that focused on themselves. 

Or, so I thought.

When I went off to college, I spiraled into a severe time of discouragement – depression, really. And as I tried to work my way through that difficult time, I desperately needed to feel loved and accepted by God. 

Yet, He felt a million miles away. When God’s Word told me that Jesus called me His friend (John 15:15), it felt like that truth applied to everyone else except me.

… and then I re-read the book of Psalms!

The book of Psalms provided a powerful paradigm shift for me. I saw the Psalmist being completely real about his questions. I saw him opening up his heart to the Lord and not holding anything back. I realized that the Psalmist said things that I wouldn’t have dared to say in my own prayers because they sounded too harsh or even disrespectful.

… and yet he basked in God’s love for Him.

Then it hit me! God knows my heart! So, why not tell Him everything! Why not follow the Psalmists’ example and be completely transparent. Why not fully expose and verbalize what is going on in the privacy of my heart. Why not tell Him of my fears, my questions, my concerns, and my doubts.

Or, as the Psalmist said in today’s verse: “pour out your heart to him.”

But why is it so hard to pour out our hearts to the Lord? Well, in our relationships with loved ones, we fear that being transparent about what is on our heart might harm the relationship. They might pull away from us, or stand in judgment, or even reject us. So, we don’t pour out our hearts. We keep our heart’s cry private and hidden, wishing we could be accepted and loved for who we currently are, struggles and all.

The problem is that we fear that God will respond the way our loved ones might respond. So, we silence our heart and only say tame, boring, disingenuous things in our prayer time with our Heavenly Father.

But, in prayer, God WANTS us to “pour out (our) heart.” He won’t pull away. In fact, as we “pour out (our) heart,” we realize that He will forever remain “our refuge.” 

So be honest with the Lord. Tell Him everything that is going on inside of you. Realize that He already knows it all … and still unconditionally loves you more than you could ever possibly imagine. If you are His child, there is absolutely nothing you can do that would cause Him to love you any less.

Be honest with Him in your prayers, as transparent as the Psalmist was. And then bask in the fact that as you make progress on the road to greater holiness, you are dearly loved by your Heavenly Father every step of the way.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash