“Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain?”
God, I just don’t get it. Why are people so stubborn? Why do they insist on following false gods and false pleasure and false life that leads to death? Why do I do these things? Why am I so disobedient?
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.
17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.
22 I love God’s law with all my heart.
23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
I know the answers, God. Just like Paul knew the answers. So, yet again I give it to you. I’ll try to trust you and be thankful for your grace. I will praise you because your love is bigger than mine. Your forgiveness is bigger than mine. You forgive me even though I struggle to forgive myself. I want to find rest and peace in it, God. In your grace, I want to find rest. Help me, God. Help my disbelief. Help me to find rest and peace. Help me obey you. Help me know that following you brings life.
So why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? Because we can’t seem to help ourselves, no matter how hard we try. So, thank you that your love is bigger and your mercy is bigger, and your forgiveness is bigger, and your heart is bigger, and your life is bigger. Thank you. Thank you that your love endures forever and that your faithfulness is true.