Daily Devotional: Psalms 35:19-25
19 Let not those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; let not those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye. 20 They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land. 21 They gape at me and say, "Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it." 22 O LORD, you have seen this; be not silent. Do not be far from me, O Lord. 23 Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. 24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, O LORD my God; do not let them gloat over me. 25 Do not let them think, "Aha, just what we wanted!" or say, "We have swallowed him up."
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Can we really rejoice in the Lord when we are suffering or when we are watching as the life fades from the body of our loved one? When someone has treated us with malice and harmed our reputation and even our work for the Lord, can we just turn it over to God and feel his peace in our hearts? Yes! We can.
When Paul wrote these words, he was probably in a musty, dark dungeon because he was preaching Christ as the crucified and risen Savior and refused to back down. Even when others deserted him, he knew the Lord was near and felt his peace. It is in this context that he said he could do all things through Christ who gave him strength and we are to be anxious for nothing – nothing at all.
Our joy and our peace are to be found in Jesus and not in our circumstances of this life. We can have this joy that swells from a heart that is set on serving God, with the assurance that he will always be near us and help us through. We often do not understand why things are as they are, but we still trust God. Jesus never made a mistake and he still does not make any today in our lives.
Heavenly Father, I am thankful that you are all wise and never mess up or make a mistake in your judgment. I am weak and often make them in my life, so I need your constant presence and care every day. Thank you for giving me your peace in the midst of a world filled with turmoil. Give me wisdom to learn from trials, to use them to draw closer to you and to be able to help others in theirs. Thank you for all the physical blessings I enjoy every day. Don’t ever let me forget that all I have is from you and not my own doing. I pray in the name of Jesus.