“If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.”
In this life we will have trouble. We will face difficult challenges which try our faith. We will have wicked people who are out to destroy us, some of whom will do whatever it takes to bring us down, to get us to give up, or to get us to shut up.
If we are not grounded in the word of God, and if the word of God is not our delight, and if we are just casual about the Scriptures, or if we are neglectful of the Scriptures, and if we are not walking in obedience to them, chances are pretty good that when we are tested and tried that we will succumb to the affliction (suffering, difficulty), and we will allow it to overtake us.
Nonetheless, if the Scriptures are our delight, and if we are walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands, and if we are following him in his ways and in his truth, when trials come our way to test our faith, we should be able to stand the test and remain faithful to God’s word.
We ought to be able to refute Satan’s lies with the truth using the full armor of God which our Lord has given us to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. And, this means getting out that sword of the Spirit and using it against Satan’s lies and his false accusations by proclaiming out loud the truth.
For we are in a spiritual battle, and the battle is a fight for men’s souls (all people’s souls). And, the more we speak the truth, and the more we expose the lies of the enemy and his evil tactics, the more the enemy is going to be outraged against us and is going to come after us. But this just means we are doing something right, otherwise he would leave us alone.
For, the word of God is what gives life to us, but not just the Scriptures, but God himself, and Jesus Christ, God the Son, who is the Word. Because of what Jesus did for us on that cross, we can have life in him and eternal life with God. We can be delivered from our slavery (addiction) to sin and now live holy lives, pleasing to God, empowered by the Spirit of God.
And, the Scriptures, which are God’s words to us, teach us how to live, and how to deal with the enemy attacks, and how to refute the lies, and how to resist the devil so that he will flee from us. And, they teach us how to walk by faith, and how to live holy lives, pleasing to God. So, they help us to live what we say we believe and to walk the walk and to not just talk it.
“I am yours; save me,
for I have sought your precepts.
The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your testimonies.”
If we are indeed the Lord’s by genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ, which means that we have died with Christ to sin that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness, then we can call on him to save us from our troubles and to rescue us from those who would persecute us.
But since our Lord promised us that we will be persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and that we will be hated as he was, then we have to know that he is not always going to physically remove us from persecution, but that he will save us through it, i.e. he will keep us from falling and from giving in to the enemy of our souls.
He may protect us physically from persecution, but we have to be prepared for the eventuality that he will not, but that he will give us whatever we need to endure it and to not succumb to it, but to remain faithful to our Lord and to his word through it, for the glory and praise of God, and as a witness to others that we will not yield to anyone but God.
For, our enemy the devil (Satan) is out to devour us, to lay traps for us, hoping that we might fall. For, he wants us to give up. He wants us to shut up, too, and to stop turning people away from him by telling them the truth. So, if we are out there teaching the truth of God’s word, then we should be prepared that the enemy is going to kick back, and he will use other humans to do his dirty work.
So, when Satan does attack us through other humans, and when he falsely accuses us, or he attacks our character, or he tries to trip us up in some way in hopes that we would yield to him, we must go to the Word of God. We must go to the Lord in prayer and to the Word to get direction for how we are to endure such affliction, and for how we are to respond to such suffering.
And, we must allow the Holy Spirit of God to teach us what to do and how to respond and to give us the right heart attitude about the whole thing, too, so that we do right, and so that we don’t do wrong. And, then we must follow the teachings of Scripture and obey our Lord and follow his leading. For, the Word of God will lead us in the right way.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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