Saturday, November 8, 2014

November 8 – Seeing beyond threats

And they return at evening, snarling like dogs and prowling around the city. They scavenge for food; they growl if they are not satisfied.  But I will sing of Your strength and will joyfully proclaim Your faithful love in the morning.  For You have been a stronghold for me, a refuge in my day of trouble.  (Psalm 59:14-16 HCSB)

The contrast between the first two sentences and the last two is pretty extreme, and a perfect picture of what faith is supposed to look like.  David is talking about his enemies, not just enemy nations, but demons who are seeking to destroy him and God’s people.  They are vicious and fearsome.  Their threat is constant, being driven back and then returning relentlessly, snarling and ready to tear him to shreds. 

It’s almost funny how he switches from a scene straight from a horror movie, to happiness, morning sunshine and singing!  David has the eyes to see beyond the scary threats of his enemies.  He sees his God, a mighty refuge and stronghold, lovingly protecting him as always.  That doesn’t mean that the threat is gone, or that the enemy has stopped his bloodthirsty intentions.  It means that the threat is nothing because God, in all His purity and faithful love, is a sure and safe refuge.  

When the problems around you threaten to tear you apart, do exactly what David does in this psalm.  Take ahold of your fearful emotions, and remind yourself that it’s time to rejoice, to celebrate the fact that you are in the mighty arms of the King of kings.  Look around you and see the beautiful sky, and remember that your Lord is the one who made it and all the millions of galaxies beyond it that your human eye can’t see.  Praise Him for the intricacy of His creation, even in the tiny blades of grass underfoot as you leave for work in the morning and know that the one who is in and over every detail, is the one who will protect you from the attacks of these snarling demons.  You are safe in Him, so trust Him enough to praise Him before you see your prayers answered.  

This is a sacrifice of your flesh, to refuse to wallow in self-pity and fear.  This sacrifice is more powerful than you realize, and proof of that is just how hard it is to sing simple praises to God when your emotions are in high gear.  Just do it, don’t wait to feel it.  Faith is a mindful decision, and not a feeling of peace or assurance.  Peace comes later, but first you have to act, and keep on acting in obedience to God’s Word.  Do you have a tough problem to face today?  Great!  Then sing!  Write back and share your experiences with the rest of us.

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