Friday, January 9, 2015

January 9 – No reason to panic

You men, how long will you try to turn my honor into shame?  How long will you love what is worthless and search for what is deceptive? Realize that the Lord shows the godly special favor; the Lord responds when I cry out to him.  (Psalm 4:2-3 NET)

This is a promise to those who live in submission to God, and a warning to those who try to shame them.  And even more than that, this is an example of how we should react when others try to disgrace us unfairly.  In the two chapters before this psalm, David is talking to God about the many enemies he has who surround and threaten him.  They weren’t just the unkind bosses or gossipy neighbors who create strife for us, he had literal enemies who were out for his blood.  For many years, David was on the run from his own king whom he loved, because a demon in King Saul filled him with jealous rage.  Yet even in life and death situations, David didn’t share the same hatred for the man who wanted to kill him.

His question to his enemy was, how long are you going to keep trying to destroy me?  Don’t you know that I have special favor from God?  When people or situations try to shame us and tear down our faith, this should be our response.  We should see those threats as empty and worthless.  We should view the devil’s attempts as pitiful because there is no way he can stand up against the protection of the Almighty.  

Anther aspect of David’s response, is that he is absolutely sure that he is godly and that the Lord will answer his prayers.  It is impossible for God not to do so.  If we are at peace in the knowledge that we are living godly lives, in a constant state of repentance and humility before Him, in obedience and love for Him, we can have the assurance that God will come to our rescue.  When it doesn’t happen immediately, we have no reason to panic, because God cares for His own.

God’s character is so pure and holy, that if He broke any of His promises, He would cease to be who He is.  He isn’t only a just God, He is the God of justice.  He isn’t just a loving God, He is love.  Who He is can never change.  The Bible says that there isn’t even a shadow of changing with God.  When decide to live based on that truth, the assurance of the Holy Spirit can flood into us and prove to us how faithful He is.  Living based on His truths and promises is what makes us godly, and what keeps us safe under His protection.  We can laugh at the threats of the devil through people, situations, the voices of doubt in our own minds – we can see them for what they are.  And then we can watch and see how God comes to our rescue in a big way.

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