Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“In you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.”
Here the psalmist mentions shame. Shame is the feeling of traumatic exposure of our nakedness. Feelings of weakness, incompetence, ugliness, foolishness, stupidity, and lack of togetherness. It’s an acid that strips us of our dignity and dissolves hope. As I write this, I cringe remembering times shame has washed over me. I personally have experienced the corrosive effects of shame. Looking back over my childhood, I can see how it has shaped the direction of my life.
Shame can be extremely powerful because it attacks us at the core of our identity. “I am a…” is the focus of its communication to us. Shame wants us to feel insignificant, worthless, and weak. Shame drives us to trust in false gods for protection rather than depending on God for each and every moment of our existence.
Notice what the psalmist is doing, though, he’s using shame to drive himself toward God. He is facing the dread of shame and he’s using it as a sign post to point himself back to God. He understands that shame doesn’t need to lead us to withdraw from God and others. Instead, shame can move us to ask and seek and knock on the door of God’s compassionate heart. Shame can be a gift, because it can reveal sin and draw out a desire to worship God alone.
The psalmist is not fleeing; he is trusting in God as his Advocate. It’s this trust that can shake off the grip that shame has on us. Looking toward God helps us to look beyond the hopelessness of the moment and fill our heart with hope.
The good news is that we can look toward God’s strength to pull us out of the swamp of shame; we don’t have to live under its control.
Who do you look toward when shame raises its head? Do you let it drive you to false gods for protection? Do you withdraw under its accusations? The enemy uses shame to tell you “You’re worthless. You’re a loser.” What do you do?
Don’t wallow in the shame. Turn to the Holy Spirit, the Advocate! Stand on the truth of God’s word that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Use the shame you feel to reveal your sin and drive yourself to Jesus. We reorient ourselves back to God.
If there is any shame you’re currently dealing with, will you now use it as a sign post to drive you to Jesus? Open your heart to grateful, awe-inspired worship!
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.) Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.