Daily Devotional: Psalms 7:1-5
1 O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, 2 or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me. 3 O LORD my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands--4 if I have done evil to him who is at peace with me or without cause have robbed my foe--5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust. Selah
17 And it happened that after three days he called together those who were the leading men of the Jews, and when they had come together, he began saying to them, "Brethren, though I had done nothing against our people, or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 "And when they had examined me, they were willing to release me because there was no ground for putting me to death. 19 "But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal to Caesar; not that I had any accusation against my nation.
When we have done wrong, we deserve to be punished. When we have done only that which is right we deserve to be commended. But the sad truth is that good has often been counted as evil and the wicked have been praised. This begins in the early years of school and carries all through life. In fact, there are times that the more we seek to do what is right and be holy, the more we are mistreated.
This happened to the apostle Paul on several occasions but in his early life he had done the same thing to the Christians and even gave his consent to the death of Stephen as he stood and cheered those stoning him. So it may happen out of ignorance or it may be out of hatred but the results are the same if we are the one being persecuted. We must trust God to help us through.
But the death of Stephen tells us that we may not be delivered from the physical problems or even persecution. It may be the will of God for us to leave this world or to grow spiritually from what can be learned only in hardship. Paul said that he suffered so he would know how to help others in their suffering.
Lord God, my heavenly Father, I praise you as creator of all things; giver of life and the source of all blessings. It is such an awesome privilege to be able to worship you and to have the opportunity to come into your presence and talk with you at any time. I know I have sinned and have done many things contrary to your will but I also know you have forgiven me. Help me use all I have done and learned to live for you and help others do so too. Give me your peace and fill me with your love as I seek to be like you. I pray in the name of Jesus my Lord.