Psalms 20:1-3 ESV
“May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah”
We are called to share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, becoming like him in his death. So, the Lord doesn’t always answer us immediately by relieving our suffering, because suffering is for our good, and it is one of the ways in which the Lord is disciplining us so that we share in his holiness. Paul pleaded with the Lord 3 times to remove a thorn from his flesh, and the Lord’s response to him was that God’s power was made perfect in Paul’s weakness, to which Paul concluded that when he was weak he was strong.
Job suffered for many days before the Lord finally healed him and restored him to good health. And he had it really bad, too. But his suffering was not just of a physical nature. His friends were turning against him, too, and they were falsely accusing him of sin he did not commit. And so he found himself defending himself to them, to let them know that his suffering was not a result of sin in his life, but they were insistent and they would not let up, and so he had sorrows upon sorrows.
So, the Lord doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way that, perhaps, we might prefer. He is watching over us. And nothing can touch us but what he allows it. And he will carry us through every trial that comes our way. But sometimes he lets us suffer for a while because he is doing greater things in our lives that we need, perhaps in preparation for even greater trials which lie ahead. For only he knows the future. So, we can pray for miracles. We can pray for healing. But ultimately that God’s will be done.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13]
Psalms 20:4-5 ESV
“May he grant you your heart’s desire
and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!”
Now, if we are followers of Jesus Christ, and our lives are surrendered to him to do his will, then his desires will become our desires, and then the Lord will grant us our hearts’ desires because they are his desires for our lives. For he doesn’t grant just any desires but only ones that are in line with his desires. And he only fulfills our plans if they are in line with his plans for our lives. For not every plan we may conceive may be of God.
And may we shout for joy over our salvation. And what is the joy of our salvation? It is that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. It is that we are crucified with him in death to sin and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, in obedience to his commands, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And it is that he delivered us out of our slavery to sin so we might now become slaves of God and of his righteousness.
And it is that we are now in relationship with God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and he dwells within us by his Spirit, and he is the one giving us strength for every day. And he is the one empowering us to follow him in surrender and in obedience to his will, even when our strength is spent. And we can enjoy sweet fellowship with him, and he counsels us in the way that we should go, and we can now be used by him to minister God’s love and grace to other people for their salvation and encouragement.
And if we continue in him, steadfast in faith unto the end, in walks of obedience and in righteousness, and if sin is not our practice, then we have the hope of eternal life with God. We have the hope of heaven as our eternal destiny where there will be no more pain and suffering and where Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Oh, what rejoicing that will be when my Jesus I shall see face to face and I will forever be with my Lord.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Psalms 20:6-8 ESV
“Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.”
The Lord saves those who are his, who don’t just give lip service to him only, but who are committed to following Jesus wherever he leads us. And he does sometimes physically rescue us from our difficult circumstances, and he is still in the healing business, but we have to trust his perfect timing, for he is working his will in our hearts and lives through what we suffer, and so we must trust him. And we need to not put our trust in the flesh of man to save us just because our Lord is not acting as swiftly as we had hoped. For man is a vain hope of salvation. So this calls for much wisdom.
Soldiers of Christ Arise
Lyrics by Charles Wesley, pub. 1741
Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies, through His Eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of Hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.
Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.
Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul;
Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole.
From strength to strength go on; wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well-fought day.
*Caution: This link may contain ads