“Unless the Lord had been my help,
my soul had almost dwelt in silence.” Psalm 94:17
Almost finished. Ever been there? Ready to give up? All around you are problems too big for you to figure out. There seem to be no solutions, only more complications.
David is in the same place. Nothing is going to plan. All his hopes are dashed and he just doesn’t know what to do to make things better. He has no one beside him to help. He feels completely alone in silent darkness.
Yet, this is one of the most wonderful places to be. This is when almost has its most power. You see, almost means that there are still two options. David can cave in and give up, or he can reach out and be held up. This is place where I Corinthians 10:13 comes into play. ”God is faithful, who will…make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”.
Do you see from the verse in Psalm that David prefaced his predicament with the word “unless”? He was not denying the fact that he was distraught. He was not focusing solely upon his circumstance and emotion, either. He knew that his help was in the Lord, and that no matter the problem, no matter how bleak it looked, the Lord’s help was there and he found comfort in that truth.
“When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.”(Psalm 94:18, 19) David knew the way through problems was to keep his eye on the Lord and know that the mercy of the Lord would not allow him to be overtaken by his problems. He drew comfort from that truth. Though his mind might be whirling, God was able to bring comfort and delight to his heart and soul so he could rest in the hand of the Lord. Are you almost ready to give us? Maybe you need to adjust your focus?
“I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.” Proverbs 5:14
Almost in trouble. The writer of Proverbs describes the fall away from safety. This drifter had surrounded himself with people that only took from him, and his deceitful heart was not even recognizing his eventual plight.
Look at the words of verses 12 and 13. “And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!” Sounds like a teenager to me. They challenge you to point out where they have failed in order that they might cast blame somewhere else or accuse you of not understanding or being too strict. They do not see the danger ahead.
If we companion with the wrong sorts of people, we too, will teeter on the edge of trouble and that is true whether we are teenagers or adults.
It is interesting to note that the evil was in the midst of the congregation and assembly. Seems the drifter had not even dropped out of church yet! He was trying to walk both sides of the fence. He was listening to lies and catering to those who were pleasing his ego.
Proverbs 5:21 gives a key. “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord…” God sees all. We must remember that truth. We might be almost in trouble, but if we turn, we will not be overtaken by our own deceits. God is there to help us.
Remedy? Change friends and stay away from evil companions.
Do you need to do some life evaluation? Are your attitudes correct and healthy? Are your companions beneficial?
“But as for me, my feet were almost gone;
my steps had well nigh slipped.” Psalm 73:2
Almost gone. Almost Soured. Failure to deal with life’s difficulties in a biblical manner can produce bitterness in our lives. We question why God has allowed difficulty or disappointment in our lives. We think He has turned away from us or is unjustly punishing us for something. We are envious of those who appear to be succeeding with no obstacles.
We may allow the mystery of iniquity to “sour” us to the Christian life and thereby hinder our growth. The Psalmist David grappled with this mystery over and over in the book of Psalms. Why do the heathen prosper as David struggles? When will God make all things just? Why do some people live evil lives and die without reaping? Why do good people have hard lives and die without reward?
Remedy? Psalm 73. As David mused throughout this Psalm his heart was grieved and finally he says that he was convicted. He came back to truth. First, he is always companioned by the Lord and held in his right hand. He has the counsel of the Lord and promise of a home in heaven. There is no one else like the Lord. God is his strength.
The ungodly do not have these promises upon their lives. The will perish and those that go away from God will be judged.
David’s decision was to draw nearer to God and put his trust in the Lord. He would show his decision by declaring all that God had done and was doing. He would look at the bigger picture and live a bigger life.
What about you? Are you slipping? Are you souring? Take time to stop and count your blessings and claim God’s promises.
“They had almost consumed me upon the earth;
but I forsook not thy precepts.” Psalm 119:87
Almost Consumed. There are people who want to see us fail. Satan wants to see us fail. We need to be vigilant and sober to avoid being consumed or devoured by the enemy.
We can also be consumed by our own inventions. Our emotions can consume us. Our fears can consume us. Our commitments can consume us. We have many consuming adversaries.
To consume means to use up, to destroy, to cause to disappear or to do away with. Anything that takes control of our lives has the potential to consume us.
The key that David found was to not forsake the precepts of God’s Word. Let’s look at some truths.
In I Corinthians 6:12 the Apostle Paul says, …I will not be brought under the power of any.” He went on to say in Romans 6:16 “….to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey…” Paul had made a decision in his life that he would only be the servant of Christ.
Nehemiah had made the same decision when Sanballat and Tobiah requested to meet him in the plain of Ono. His response was, “…I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” He knew that the work God had given him to do was more important than yielding to the enemy’s tactics.
What consumes your thoughts? Your time? Your energy? What choices do you need to make in order to not forsake the precepts of God?
“…almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Acts 26:28
Of all the “almosts”, this is the saddest. Paul had stood before the counsel affirming that Jesus was the Christ and giving testimony of this life changing event. Agrippa was almost convinced of the truth of the gospel. Almost in this matter is most certainly lost.
Paul’s reply? “…I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I…” His heart so longed for Agrippa and those in the court to come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
If today you have never received Christ as your Saviour, do not stop at being almost persuaded. Come to grips with the fact of your own guilt before an Almighty God and bow your knee in repentance asking for his forgiveness and invite Him into your life.
If you are a Christian, and want to be the witness like Paul, you must show your confidence not only in the truth, but also in the benefit and advantage of Christianity. Seek to show others goodwill and the unspeakable security in the grace of Christ that has come to you. Live out your Christianity daily and boldly.
Ours is not to save, but to testify. Matthew Henry says, “Many are almost persuaded to be religious…but yet are overruled by some external inducements, and do not pursue their convictions.” We cannot make people believe and act upon belief. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. But we can point them to Christ.
Are you almost persuaded? Remedy? Repent and believe!