Psalm 143:1 – “Hear my prayer O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in you righteousness!”

If God were to refuse to hear the pleas of His children it would mean He had ceased to be faithful and righteous. To put it more positively, God answers our prayers because He will never cease to be faithful and righteous. He helps us and hears our cries because He is faithful and righteous.

We are the children of God because of a plan that was formed before the world’s foundations were laid. Jesus is the Lamb who was slain from before the creation of the world. God has determined to save a vast numberless multitude from every people, tribe, nation and tongue. In time He calls them into an eternal covenant that He has determined to keep. He is God and He cannot lie. He remains faithful to Himself. Since He has said that all He chooses shall be brought safe into glory then they will be brought safe into glory.

For those who think that means that believers can therefore live like the devil and rest in the covenant of God, we note that the God who so chooses sinners to be saved is the same God who has determined to help them grow in holiness. What God calls out of the world He conforms to the image of Himself. No one claiming to be a believer can ever conclude that he can live like the devil. The truly repentant will simply not have such an attitude.

The point of this Psalm however is that we can call upon God to help us on the basis of His faithfulness and righteousness. God cannot deny Himself. He will help those who have been brought to life in Christ. He has said that He would. The verse also says that He helps us on the basis of His righteousness. The cross of Jesus Christ is the ultimate demonstration of the righteousness of God (Romans 3:21-26). The cross shows that God must punish sin. Sin cannot, and will not be permitted to survuve. When Jesus bares our sins in His own body on the tree, God must punish Him. This is right and if God had not lashed out His judgement on Christ then He would have ceased to be righteous. Believers go to God through Christ and boldly ask Him to help us since He is righteous, because we are hidden in Christ and we are counted with the sinless righteousness of Christ. Our sins have been punished, the debt is paid, the punishment has been administered. We are therefore His by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

For God to refuse to help us would mean that He is not the righteous God that we are told He is. Go to God in great boldness. Our timidity in prayer is only due to our misunderstanding of the work of Christ, our misunderstanding of the sufficiency of the cross, our misunderstanding of how much the cross and resurrection accomplished for us. Go with boldness. It honours Christ. It shows God to be the covenant keeping God that He is. What a thing the Gospel is!

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