Devotion #116

With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!

Psalm 142:1-3 ESV

We know after spending time in this psalm, when we are in conflict with our spouse, we should take our complaints and our hurts to the Lord. We are to plead for His mercy as we tell Him our troubles, and we are to trust in His sovereignty over the situation.

But there is one more critical component to this psalm that we cannot miss. All the way down to verse 7, we read, “Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!” David begins this prayer to the Lord in despair and frustration, but he ends it with the confident hope of rescue. He looks to the future when God will free him from his chains, and break him out of the prison he is in, believing and trusting that it will happen. When we sit down in prayer with God about the struggles in our marriage, we can confidently look to a future day when He will rescue us. He will provide what we need, He will heal our hearts, He will restore our bonds.  We can trust God to rescue us.

Here is the part we cannot miss: David asks for rescue to glorify God. He doesn’t ask God to rescue him so that his life is easier, so he can have peace and joy, so he doesn’t have to fear his enemies. He asks God to rescue him so “that I may give thanks to your name.” His rescue in David’s life is for His glory, and His rescue in yours is for the same. His rescue in this trial isn’t for your happiness, it isn’t to bring your spouse under your rule—that’s not what He’s doing. His rescue is for His kingdom. His rescue is to grow you more like Him, to demonstrate His love and His grace in your marriage, to bring a greater awareness of His work in your heart to your spouse.

You see, you have influence over your spouse—God designed it that way. He chose your spouse for you because He wanted you to have an impact on their lives, to be a tool He uses to transform them into someone who radiates His love and beauty to the world. What you do, how you respond, what you say…all of it should draw your spouse closer to Christ. You have the power in every interaction to damage your spouse’s heart, to crush their faith, or to rob them of their hope. Your reaction to the conflict you are experiencing can either cloud their view of God’s presence or it can illuminate His grace, His love, and His forgiveness.

God knows we live in a fallen world with broken spouses. He is aware of the damage and hurt our spouses can cause, and He knows how hard it is to humble ourselves and submit to His plan. It is all why He has given us the Spirit to come and dwell within us—because He knows we cannot do this on our own. When you experience pain and anguish in your marriage, cry out to Him in prayer, submit to His sovereignty and His plan, then allow Him to soften and transform your heart so His light shines brightly to your spouse. This response will have such a profound impact on your spouse that it will transform their heart—that is God’s plan. And for that, we give thanks to His name.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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