“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.”
Psalms 34:15-22 NKJV
It can seem as if those who are followers of Jesus are surrounded by ceaseless storms and darkness, and under daily assault by enemies who hate them because of whose they are. It is easy to feel as if we have been abandoned, having not the attention of the One who called us.
I have spent some time in Psalm 34 the past couple of days. I would have to say that this Psalm is one of favorite parts of the Bible, as it has accompanied me through many difficult times. I have written previously of my encounter with verse six, as I lay in a bed at the Mayo with a tumor on my spine and a question mark looming over my life.
“This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.”
Psalms 34:6 NKJV
I was and am thankful that I have an advocate in Jesus, who was my constant ally as I fought the foe of cancer.
I received comfort as I knew that my God was in the middle of my situation, and whether He delivered me through my cancer, or delivered me home to Heaven, there was no downside.
I found strength in Jesus in the midst of that health struggle, and I have found that He is just as faithful in whatever situation one might enter. For the Christian who adheres to the word of truth, these days can be troubling, as the values found in Scripture run headlong into the values of the world.
There are days when I look at all that is happening, and I wonder if God will ever intervene. Having spent time in His word and gotten a sense of who He is, I know that He will finally deal with the evil one, and those who do his bidding.
Brothers and sisters, know that as we cry out the Lord over the unrighteousness of this present age, we do have a champion, One who will come and make all things right.
I know that dark, threatening storms are coming, and many of us will indeed suffer. But remember this: Jesus suffered on our behalf, unto death, and He was buried. But on the third day, He rose again, overcoming the world, sin and death. Because of Him, we have a future and a hope of a new heaven and new earth.
Though He is now at the right hand of the Father, we are not forsaken, as even now, He intercedes on our behalf. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.” This will become more true in coming days, weeks, months, and perhaps years. Let us focus on the Lord in these times.
As we wait for the deliverance of the Lord, let us go about with concern for those around us who do not know Him. I am daily broken hearted over people I encounter who have not been saved, and are struggling with no remedy. I pray for opportunities to share, and I pray for those who know Jesus, on my list, that they have the opportunity and will to share the Gospel.
As we go forth, let us remember that we have a faithful advocate, always near, and aways in us, governing us, guiding us, giving us the power to endure.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
John 14:16-18 NKJV
Trust in the Lord, my people, being steadfast in the faith, knowing that Jesus who ascended, will indeed return, and bringing true justice.
Let us have mercy on those in opposition, not waiting for the Lord to destroy them, but being faithful to share the Good News, that Jesus came to save sinners. Let us tell our own stories of reconciliation, of how we went from enemies of God to adopted into the beloved. We are examples of God grace.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:4-7 NKJV
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