Daily Devotional: Psalms 55:1-8
1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; 2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 3 at the voice of the enemy, at the stares of the wicked; for they bring down suffering upon me and revile me in their anger. 4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. 5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest--7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert; Selah 8 I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm."
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Since the first family when Cain killed his brother Abel, people who seek to serve God have been persecuted by the ungodly. Paul declares that all who are in Christ will suffer persecution. It may be verbal abuse, physical mistreatment or even being put to death but whatever it is, we should not think we are alone when it happens to us or to someone we love. Remember how Jesus suffered for us.
Peter, Paul and James all echo what Jesus said above; that we are to rejoice when it comes. Not because we enjoy suffering. Not because persecution makes us more righteous than others. We are being counted worthy of sharing in the suffering of our Lord. Our faith is made stronger as we trust God and with his strength overcome our trials. When we look back over our lives and what we have overcome, we see more clearly the love and protection God has shown to us.
So no matter what we face for our Savior, we rejoice in him and we put our trust in him. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He has promised that he will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear but with every temptation will provide a way of escape. Hallelujah! Praise Jesus our Lord!
Heavenly Father you have always been so good to me and I thank you. You have provided my needs when I didn’t know how it could happen. You have given me strength when I have been faced with trials. You have convicted me when I have done wrong. You have given wisdom to handle some difficult occasions, and the list goes on and on. Thank you for putting so many godly people in my life to show me how to live for you and to encourage me when I have been weak. Use me to help others to be stronger and more faithful. Give your strength and peace to those who are suffering and taking treatments. I pray in Jesus name.