“Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!”
If we fear the Lord, we take God and his Word seriously. We take it to heart, and so we do what it teaches those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, under the New Covenant. And we cease doing what it warns us we must stop doing. And we give honor, respect, submission, and obedience to our Lord because we love him, and because we are so grateful for what he did for us in putting our sins to death with him on that cross so that we can now die with him to sin, by his grace, and live to him and to his righteousness.
“For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.”
By God’s grace, and in his strength and power, those of us who are walking in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord are able to remain steadfast in faith and to not be moved away from those walks of faith in him. Even when our faith is being tested by trials and tribulations of many different kinds, we are able, by the grace of God, to remain firm in our faith, trusting in the Lord despite all that is going on in our lives. For our faith in our Lord, a faith which comes from God, is able to conquer all our fears.
And this is not to say that we have always been this way, and it definitely has not come about in our own strength and willpower. Some of us have had to learn this the hard way, through many trials and tribulations, in order to make us strong and determined to not be afraid, and to not give up, and to not retreat. For we learn obedience through the things which we suffer. And through troubles and hardships we learn to rely on the Lord and not on ourselves, and we learn perseverance and steadfastness of spirit.
Now “bad news” comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. And sometimes it is the realization that we are being targeted for failure, that there are those who are plotting evil against us, trying to trip us up with our words, so that we will fail. Or they may be secretly doing things against us to try to make us afraid so that we will fail. And they may be trying all sorts of different things until they can find one trick they think will work and will be successful in bringing us down and in getting us to fail spiritually. For that is their goal.
And in some cases, this is a lot like Cain and Abel, for Cain hated his brother Abel, and he was jealous of him, because Abel’s sacrifice to God was acceptable to God and Cain’s was not, but also because Abel’s deeds were righteous and Cain’s were evil, and so he hated his brother and he murdered him (see 1 John 3:11-12; Genesis 4:6-8). And thus we may have people in our lives who are resentful of our walks of faith, for the same reasons, and who will make attempts at trying to get us to fail.
So, we need to be aware that these types of things are not only possible, but that the Scriptures teach us that if we are following Jesus Christ with our lives that we will be hated and persecuted like Jesus was hated and persecuted, which is what I just described above. And this is Satan’s plot against us because he wants us to fail and to walk away from God and to return to living in sin and for self. So if we recognize that these types of things may happen to us, then we can be prepared to combat them.
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
“The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!”
Now our resistance to Satan and to his evil plots against us will anger him, and it will anger those who are working for Satan and who are plotting evil against us. They will be upset when we do not fall apart, for that is what they hope for. For they want us to fail. They want us to curse God and die. So they are hoping we will fail so that they can point a finger at us in order to justify their own wickedness. For our walks of faith are an offense to them, and they are a constant reminder of their own failed lives.
So, we need to be on guard, and we have to anticipate that Satan might use all kinds of different tricks and schemes to try to get us to fail. And sadly, we can’t really trust anyone to be who he or she says they are, especially if they are people on the internet who we don’t know, because anything can be faked on the internet, and people can be whoever they choose to be, and even people we know in person may pretend to be what they are not in an attempt to try to deceive us or to trick us, again in hopes we will fail.
So, when we don’t fail, and when we keep trusting the Lord, and we keep following him in obedience, despite all the schemes against us, and all the tricks being tried against us, this will anger the wicked who are plotting evil against us. And especially if they were ever successful in leading us astray, but they aren’t anymore, because our faith is much stronger, they may get enraged because we are not caving to our trials, but we are victorious. But the desire of the wicked will perish along with the wicked who will perish.
[Jn 3:19-20; 2 Thes 2:9-10; 2 Thes 3:1-2; Jas 1:19-21; 3 Jn 1:10; Matt 7:21-23; Matt 15:18-20; Mk 7:20-22; Lu 6:45; Lu 13:26-28; Jn 5:28-29; Rom 1:29-32; Rom 2:6-10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-11; Heb 3:12; 1 Pet 3:12; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis
I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know
I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.
Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.
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