Steadfast in Faith Despite Opposition

Psalms 42:1-4 ESV

“As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
‘Where is your God?’
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.”

If we are genuine followers of Jesus Christ, and not Christians in name only, or by confession or profession only, we should hunger and thirst after God/Jesus, and after his righteousness, as a deer pants for flowing streams in order to satisfy his thirst.

But when we come to have such faith in Jesus Christ, by God’s grace, and by God drawing us to Jesus Christ, and we truly hunger after our Lord and his word and his holiness and his righteousness, Satan, our enemy, is not going to be happy, and so he will come against us fiercely.

And Satan will use other humans to attack us, to mistreat us, to taunt us, to falsely accuse us, to mock us and our faith, to reject and persecute us, and to call our faith into question, and to suggest that our faith is naïve, and that we should believe them, instead, for they are more street wise than us.

But the Bible predicts that this will happen to us. Jesus said that if we are his followers that we will be treated as he was. He said the world will hate us because Jesus has called us out from the world. And they will reject the gospel message, for it is foolishness to those who are perishing. But the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God’s sight (1 Co 1:18; 3:19).

And if we are under a great deal of oppression, especially without much encouragement, it can weigh heavy on our hearts and minds, and there may be times when we cry much, and where we call out to God to help us and to strengthen us and to give us all that we need to keep going.

There also may be times when we might let the oppression overtake us, and we might shrink back from serving the Lord in the ways we once did or with the same passion we once had for serving him with wholehearted devotion. For, we may feel overwhelmed by it all, and we may get discouraged.

And sometimes we will have to counsel ourselves through the discouragement, and through the oppression, and we will have to speak reason to our own hearts, based on God’s Word, so that we don’t remain in the valley and in defeat, but so we rise above our circumstances in determined faith in our Lord and in his purpose for our lives.

Psalms 42:6-11 ESV

“My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
‘Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?’
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
‘Where is your God?’

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.”

Jesus Christ, when he walked this earth, had enemies who came against him on a regular basis. They did not believe he was who he said he was, they didn’t like the things that he did, and they didn’t like the words which he spoke. And they especially didn’t like it when he called them out on their hypocrisies and on their secretive sins. They were offended by him.

And when we commit our lives to Jesus Christ and to his service, to follow him wherever he leads us in doing what he commands, and in saying what he gives us to say, we are also going to have enemies who will be offended by us, who won’t like what we say, and who won’t like it when we confront common sinful practices and call for repentance and obedience to Christ.

They are also not going to like us if we begin to expose the lies of the enemy and to tell the truth in the wisdom of God. They will not respect or honor godly wisdom but will prefer the wisdom of this world, which is of the flesh, and not of the Spirit of God. And so, they will try to convince us to reject God’s wisdom and to follow worldly wisdom, instead.

We live in an age of much deception coming from the mouths of our government leaders, the media, memes on social media, and from some preachers who are teaching a diluted and adulterated gospel. Lies, deceptions, manipulations, trickery, and the twisting of truth, etc. abound! So, this requires much spiritual discernment on our part to separate the lies from the truth, especially in relation to things not specific to Scripture.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is being adulterated, and Scriptures are being twisted in order to teach “another gospel” which is not of God but of man, but which is vastly replacing the truth of the gospel in the hearts and minds of the masses. Far too many people are following man’s wisdom instead of God’s because it tells them what they want to hear.

Since the gospel teaches that we must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness, and that we must turn from our sinful practices to follow our Lord in obedience to his commands, and that we must walk (in conduct) not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, many are rejecting it for a cheap grace substitute which will give them permission to continue living in sin without guilt or fear of punishment.

All the lies of the enemy are leading many astray to follow this “other gospel” which coddles them in their sin, and which does not demand that they die to their sin. And those who are spreading the lies are continuing to multiply and to enlarge their territory, and to cause pain and suffering, and to even plot out evil against the righteous in hopes to shut them up. So, we must not give in to them, but we must remain steadfast in our faith.

Seek the Lord

An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

3 thoughts on “Steadfast in Faith Despite Opposition

  1. Amen.
    His Word is like food and water. His counsel more than precious gold. May we continue to seek Him and thirst for Him like the deer pants. For water.

    Better is one day in the courts of the Lord than a thousand elsewhere. 🙏🏻❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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