Daily Devotional: Psalms 43:1-5
1 Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; rescue me from deceitful and wicked men. 2 You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? 3 Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. 4 Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. 5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
We are to become like God in our thinking. We are to be like Jesus in our attitudes and in our actions. We are to emulate the faith of the saints that are described in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. But these are tall orders, perhaps in our minds, even impossible. How can I think like God? How can I follow the life and example of Jesus who lived without sin? Can I have faith like Abraham or Moses?
Peter says we are to be partakers of the Divine nature. We will not, in this life, be like God or Jesus in our thinking, attitude and action in an absolute sense. But we can become, little by little, more like him each day. We can be like Jesus in that it is our will to do the will of the Father in all things. As we allow Jesus to live in us, we can follow his example more and better with time, patience and practice.
Can we have the faith of Abraham, of Moses and that of Rahab? The truth is that we can. These were faithful people in their service to God. They demonstrated their trust in him as God, as their Lord. But they were just people, people like you and me with problems, weaknesses, trials and life in general. Most of them lived among wicked people in a wicked generation. But if Noah could remain faithful and even teach his sons to be faithful in his world, we can be faithful today.
O Lord God, as I battle the schemes of Satan and the many influences he places in my life, give me your wisdom to stand in your might and to overcome. Help me make your will my own in all things. Give me a heart of love, even as you love me, so that others will see Jesus living in me. Lord, I am thankful that I can live in a country that affords so many freedoms and so much peace. But I am mindful of so many who do not have these but are persecuted for their faith. Protect them and help them be faithful to you and to know your peace. I pray in Jesus name.