Psalm 119:145-148 NASB
I cried with all my heart; answer me, O Lord!
I will observe Your statutes.
I cried to You; save me
And I shall keep Your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I wait for Your words.
My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
The Cry of Our Hearts
What is the cry of your heart to the Lord today? What are the burdens and the concerns that you are laying at his feet? For what are you seeking answers?
What gets you up in the middle of the night or keeps you up late at night talking with the Lord and hearing him speak his words to your heart? And, what literally brings tears streaming down your cheeks as you pray?
I understand that waiting “for Your words.” Sometimes the Lord speaks immediately, and sometimes he is silent, and then the message is clearly to “wait,” “believe,” “trust,” and “walk by faith and not by sight.”
Sometimes we are in situations which are very hard to bear. And, we need rescued, if not from the circumstances themselves, then emotionally, mentally and spiritually we need relief so that we can bear up under the trial, and so we know best how to respond to our difficulties with grace.
And, yet, is it not in these times when we draw closest to our Lord in sweet fellowship with Him? Is it not during these times, when we cry out to him in our suffering, that we feed more on his Word, and we desire to hear from him, and to experience his comfort, encouragement, hope and healing?
Yes! Our trials and our tribulations move us to cry out to our Lord and to desire him above all else and to hunger and thirst after his Word and after his righteousness. So, although they are painful, good can come from them if we are willing to humble ourselves before our Lord and learn from him what he has for us in these moments; in these troubling times.
Psalm 119:149-152 NASB
Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your ordinances.
Those who follow after wickedness draw near;
They are far from Your law.
You are near, O Lord,
And all Your commandments are truth.
Of old I have known from Your testimonies
That You have founded them forever.
Revive Me, O Lord
There are two kinds of revival, I believe. One is the kind we need when we are failing spiritually, and we have fallen back into sinful ways and we are once again following after the flesh, and not after the Spirit.
So, we need revived, i.e. we need to be brought to our knees in humility and in surrender to our Lord and to his will for our lives, because we have gotten off course, and we need to get back on the right path.
And, so he may bring some divine discipline and correction into our lives in order to get us back on the “straight and narrow” way. And, thus we must respond to that divine discipline by repenting of (turning away from) our sins and returning to following our Lord Jesus and doing what He says.
But, another kind of revival is necessary sometimes, too, and that is when we are being oppressed by our enemy Satan, and we are experiencing great hardships or enormous trials which try our faith.
It may be that we have just experienced the death of a loved one, or betrayal of the worst kind, or it could be that we are going through a sickness which is draining us physically. Or, we may be going through some serious persecution and rejection.
All these kinds of things can put a strain on our bodies, on our health, on our minds and on our hearts and emotions.
So, sometimes we just need refreshed mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We need encouraged. We need a word of hope. We don’t need lies told us just to try to make us feel better, though. We need truth always, but truth spoken in love, and with grace.
Psalm 119:153-156 NASB
Look upon my affliction and rescue me,
For I do not forget Your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your word.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.
Great are Your mercies, O Lord;
Revive me according to Your ordinances.
Rescue Me, O Lord
Sometimes the Lord rescues us physically from our trials, but many times he rescues us through our trials. In other words, he gives us the grace, strength, encouragement and hope needed in order to endure what we are going through, and so that we might grow in our faith through our troubles.
Often he gives us just little encouragements through a song, or through another believer’s words or actions, or through the laughter of a child, or via a cloud formation in the sky, or via a gentle breeze or a picture, etc.
It doesn’t have to be something huge to lift our spirits. It can be something very simple that will give us that boost we need to keep going. And, God knows just what we need, and he will supply. For, he cares about us deeply.
And, our trials can really weigh us down if we are not encouraged. And, that is because they sometimes come through other humans who have forsaken the ways of the Lord to follow after their own flesh.
They have closed their hearts and minds to the Lord, and their hearts have become hardened. And, they have stiff necks, too, i.e. they are stubborn and unwilling to yield to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and so they persecute those who are following the Lord.
And, these people can be within the fellowship of our churches, or they can be family members or close associates with whom we have regular contact. And, so this may be a somewhat regular occurrence in our lives, and something that could get the best of us if we let it. And, yet, God’s grace is sufficient to meet us in our needs, and to grow us in his grace through it all.
Psalm 119:157-160 NASB
Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies.
I behold the treacherous and loathe them,
Because they do not keep Your word.
Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.
The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.
Live by The Word
Who are your persecutors and your adversaries? Well, our number one enemy is Satan and his many hordes of demons. Our battle truly is against them, so we must fight this battle with spiritual weapons of warfare, not with guns and bombs (See: Eph. 6:10-20).
Daily we must put on our spiritual armor, which God has supplied, in order to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us. When Satan throws his fiery darts against us, and he will use other humans to do his dirty work, then we must fight back with truth, righteousness, faith, our witness for the gospel, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, speaking the truth in love.
We must not let Satan’s lies and his attacks get the best of us or discourage us from walking by faith and not by sight. We must not entertain doubts, fear, or temptations to come back under bondage, but we must walk in the freedom we have in Christ. We must believe his promises, and rest in his love, and depend on his mercy, and trust in his grace.
And, we must pray for our enemies, do good to those who hate us and who despitefully use us, and say what is beneficial and helpful to those who persecute us instead of blasting them. And, we need to pray for their salvation, or for their revival if they are wandering sheep who have gone astray.
And, we must hold fast to the Word of God (the Word of Truth) no matter what messages we hear, and no matter if we are being persecuted for our faith in Jesus Christ. We must not ever let go of God or our faith in Jesus because of what others do or because of what they say to us or about us. For, in the Word of God is the breath of life, so we must live by the Word.
Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
Hymn lyrics by Henry F. Lyte, 1833
Music attr. to Mozart, 1831/ Arr. Hubert P. Main, 1872
Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition, all I’ve sought or hoped or known;
Yet how rich is my condition! God and heav’n are still mine own.
Let the world despise and leave me, they have left my Savior, too;
Human hearts and looks deceive me; Thou art not, like them, untrue.
And while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me, show Thy face and all is bright.
Go, then, earthly fame and treasure! Come, disaster, scorn and pain!
In Thy service pain is pleasure; with Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, “Abba, Father”; I have set my heart on Thee:
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather, all must work for good to me.
Man may trouble and distress me, ’twill but drive me to Thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me; heav’n will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me, while Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me, were that joy unmixed with Thee.
Haste then on from grace to glory, armed by faith, and winged by prayer,
Heav’n’s eternal day’s before thee, God’s own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission, swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope soon change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.
*Copyright status is Public Domain
Thank You, Jesus, for this encouragement today to hold on, to hold fast to Your Truth, and to continue in the grace of You, our Lord, trusting You with our trials, and believing you to revive us and to rescue us so that we do not give way to fear. Amen!