4. God’s Smiling Face of Grace Psalm 55:16-23

Text: “As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.  Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.”

Psalm 55:16-17.

Good morning, Spiritually-relieved Christian!  When the Lord God seemed to hide His face from you, and from me, we felt immediately and totally devastated; utterly confused; and bereft of the joy of His Holy countenance shining upon us.  But our God-given faith did not fail us!  Our faith did not fail us BECAUSE it is a God-given faith – anything that the Omnipotent Lord God Jehovah gives us as His gift of grace, can never ever totally fail!  Hallelujah!  Praise God for the smile of His Holy face upon us!

“For by GRACE are ye saved through FAITH; and that (faith) not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works (good deeds), lest any man should boast.  For we are His workmanship, CREATED (true Christians are a new creation of God) in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (predestined) that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Like the Potter spoken of in the Book of Jeremiah, the Lord Jesus takes us, broken clay of the ground, misshapen by our sin, and recreates us in His Holy image, ‘...new creatures in Christ...’!   Hallelujah!  What a revelation!  True Christians are Christ’s new creation!

“Therefore if any man/woman be in Christ, he/she is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold (look and fully understand), all things are become new.  And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

After a time of deep oppression from ‘the wicked’; after a period of inner pain and terror of death assailing him – when the Lord God seemed to have hidden His Holy face from him – the Psalmist David is blessed anew by the Lord, through renewed faith in God’s love for him.  It is as if the ‘Smiling Face of God’ has suddenly appeared unto him, reassuring him that ‘...all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”   (Romans 8:28)

Verse 16.  “As for me.  Fellowship with the Living Lord God is a very personal fellowship; it must be from individual hearts made right by God-given faith in Christ and His full Atonement Sacrifice for sinners, made at Calvary’s Cross over two thousand years ago.  Each individual soul must make his/her peace with God, and only through His Great Son, Jesus the risen Christ.  Eternal Salvation is at all times necessarily a most personal duty; a duty only given to God’s elect people.

“All that the Father giveth Me (Christ Jesus) shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”  (John 6:37)

Verse 16.  “...I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.  I have often taught young Christians to fellowship often with the Lord God, and actually given them what is widely known as ‘God’s telephone number’!  God’s telephone number is Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”   The Lord saves those that, in faith, call upon Him to do so.  Praise His Name!

Verse 17.  “Evening and morning and at noon, will I pray.  Often, but none too often.  Seasons of great need call for frequent seasons of devotion.  The three periods chosen are most fitting: to begin, continue, and end the day with God is supreme wisdom.  The Psalmist means that he will always pray; he will run a line of prayer right along the day and track the sun with his petitions.  Day and night he saw his enemies busy (verse 10), and therefore he would meet their activity by continuous prayer.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 252)

Verse 17.  “Evening and morning and at noon, will I pray.  If our poor, frail bodies need refreshment from food three times a day, who that knows his own weakness will say that we need not as frequent refreshment for our poor, frail spirits?”  (William S. Plumer 1802-1880)

God’s face shines on those upon whom He recognises from frequent fellowship with Him in prayer.  God smiles as He grants grace to ‘His people’.  Come boldly, now!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:16)

The professing Christian who sees no need to seek God’s continuous grace; no need to frequently seek the Lord’s face in prayer – better examine his or herself to make certain he/she is in fact truly saved!  If you face no temporal/spiritual oppositions in your life, you can be sure you are NOT in the Spiritual Battle!  The Devil only opposes real Christians!

Verse 18.  “He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me.  You and I are called to be ‘soldiers’ of Christ, beloved Reader.  We are given sturdy Spiritual armour for a reason – that we might, “...be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  (Ephesians 6:11-12)

We arise to the great Battle with fire in our bellies and faith in our hearts, when once we know that the Lord God’s face is shining upon us, and His smile is our victory assured.  Glory to His Holy and altogether lovely Name!  Hallelujah!  Jesus reigns supreme!

Verse 22.  “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer (allow) the righteous to be moved.  The remedy which the Psalm suggests, and, perhaps the only resource in a difficulty of the kind, where the enemies of true religion are fighting under the semblance of friendship, is announced in than oracular voice from God: “Cast thy care upon Jehovah, for He will sustain thee; He will never suffer the just one to be tossed about forever.”  (R.H. Ryland 1853)

The ‘burden’ that is experienced by genuine Christ-serving Christians comes in many forms of oppression and depression of spirit and soul, and is promised to every true Bible-believing, born again Christian – such ‘burdens’ come with the territory of everyone who would seek to extend Christ’s Kingdom upon this old sin-filled earth.  We have God’s Word on this Spiritual fact.  “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

“God delights not to see tears in thine eyes or paleness in thy countenance; thy groans and sighs make no music in His ears. He had rather that thou wouldst free thyself of thy burden by casting it upon Him, that He might rejoice in thy joy and comfort.” (S. Blackberry, 1673).

Thought: When God smiles upon ‘His people’ – it makes all burdens worth bearing.

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