The Lord is my strength and my shield ; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped, therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him (Psalms 28:7)
Matthew Henry writes of this passage ” He encourages himself to hope in God for the perfecting of everything that concerned him.”
In the narrow walk of the saint there shall be victories and their shall be defeats. There will be defeats and there will be victories. If we would find the balanced high ground of wisdom in this life, we should find ourselves acknowledging that there will be victories and their will be defeats. A great portion of Christendom is very afraid to even speak of defeats, imagining somehow that by merely speaking the words then defeat shall surely come, this is sheer superstition. Another portion of Christendom is only focussed on suffering and defeat and cry out to God to strengthen them for the inevitable defeats they will experience and strength to merely endure perpetual suffering. Now this is not superstition but can be a recipe for a joyless life full of burden and anxiety.
I myself lean to the latter of those two examples. Yet Matthew Henry is right, David was encouraging himself to hope in God for the perfecting of everything that concerned him. Faith, so much an abused word and concept within the Christian community, relies upon mercy and grace. Now I am not speaking of saving faith, but the faith that we are called to exercise every day as we walk out and work out our salvation. The kind of faith that is so vital in our sanctification process, the kind of faith that pleases God.
I have been praying much recently for my own sister, a very troubled woman who is not saved. Relying upon my own wisdom to deal with her would bring me to a place of hopelessness, not exactly a great place to be in when praying. Burying my head in the sand and simply failing to acknowledge that there is even a problem also eventually leads to hopelessness. So how do I pray, how should I be? Given her most recent actions, then no good thing can become of her but the Holy Spirit has spoken into my heart and shown me that grace, meaning unmerited favor, dwells within the realms of the humanly impossible. I worship a God of the impossible. And while I know that all who live Godly in Christ Jesus will indeed suffer for His sake, I also know a God who specializes in the realms of what is humanly impossible. God is the God of hope and in this we must encourage ourselves. When the Israelites backs were to the water and the most powerful army in the world was bearing down on them, if God did not move then all would be dead. God moved and God got all the glory.
How do you pray? Do you pray and encourage yourself for the perfecting of everything that concerns you? Perhaps you have been discouraged in your prayers of late? Can I encourage you to encourage yourself? Remember God when you pray for the impossible. Remember that with our God all things are possible. Is their anything too difficult for Him. Do not have the mindset that all you will know is suffering and failure. It is not true. There will be victories, there will be defeats. Yet God reigns in the midst of our lives and hope springs from a heart that trusts God with everything that concerns you. Cast all of your cares upon Him today. It is hope and trust in God that produces joy and peace and strength. Now it may be that some are called to suffer much more than others, but the greatest witness for Jesus comes from those whose focus is upon Him and who He is and His victory and that fact that He has overcome the world and because of that we can be of good cheer. The Greek word for that phrase is euthumeó meaning ” I keep up spirit, I am cheerful, I am of good courage.” Be of good cheer brothers and sisters, the Lord is at the door, the Master soon returns. Let us pray with faith and not tire…….bro Frank