“Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose. They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land. The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:12-15 NIV)
Have you ever endured ridicule?
I certainly have. I was bullied regularly as a child. They laughed at me because I wore thick glasses and I didn’t speak Dutch as my first language. They made fun of me because I was bigger than the rest of my class, because I had to repeat Grade 1 due to the language and visual issues. No one would pick me for a sports team… Except for Football (Soccer) that is! They all wanted me on their team because I couldn’t see the difference between a player and a ball, and they wanted my wild kicking to take out a few of the opponent’s best team players! I was also very, very shy, and this didn’t help at all. It was a very lonely existence for me as I went through elementary and high school with no friends, continually being picked on and laughed at.
I’m sure that many of you out there can relate to my sad childhood. What do we do if we are being ridiculed?
We turn to the Lord. The Psalmist writes, ”My eyes are ever on the Lord, for ONLY HE will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15 NIV). God loves us, and even more, He knows exactly what it is like to be ridiculed. Remember how everyone mocked Him as He hung on the cross? Even His close friends left Him! He is the only one who can release us from the snare of bullying.
As a kid, I would have loved it if someone would have confided in me; but sadly, no one did. They never made the effort to get to know me, so they would never know that I could be trusted. Yet God says, “The Lord confides in those who fear Him. He makes His covenant known to them.” (Psalm 25:14b NIV).
When we are feeling low, like no one on earth cares enough to even find out if we can be trusted, like no one on Earth is willing to take a chance on friendship with us, we have Someone who is ALWAYS there, who wants more than anything to release our feet from the snare and to confide in us!
As I watched the other kids of my class, ever wishing that just one of them would reach out to me in a gesture of friendship, I began to notice something: One day two people were friends, and the next day one was gossiping about the other behind their backs! The good news is that our Father will never make fun of us. He is our friend, forever!
How do we tap in to this wonderful kind of friendship? Consider the rest of this Psalm 25:
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you. Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!” (Psalms 25:16-22 NIV)
When we turn to God, when we tell Him about our loneliness and our trouble, when we look to Him to free us of our affliction and distress, when we put our trust in Him to take away our sins, God will guard our lives and rescue us. We will not be put to shame when we take refuge in Him!
And that, friends, is the good news!
In His love,
(To access the entire “The Sling for God” devotional series, please click here.