'But as for me I shall sing of your strength; yes I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.'
I read this psalm this morning and the last two verses caught me. David has been asking the Lord to deliver him from his enemies who are too strong and too wicked for him to cope with.
Isn't that true of each one of us? As we go on in our Christian life aren't we ever more aware of our need for the Lord, for His strength, for His wisdom, for His protection? As the days go by and wickedness seems to be increasing all around us - as chaos and confusion reign in this world don't you feel as I do that very great and urgent need for God to make Himself known - for His protection to be powerfully felt as we face a very real and present danger?
This was my prayer this morning; O Lord deliver me, protect me, be my stronghold, my refuge as I seek to live Your way - as I seek to speak Your truth into a world that is overrun by the schemes of the enemy of my soul.
Probably, like me, you have been asked the questions so many times - how come this world is so dark - how is it so terribly wicked - why is there so much evil around and seemingly getting worse and worse?
Why when there is so much talk and effort going in to improving education, caring for the environment, into tolerance and a live and let live mentality - why when there is so much effort being put in to uniting governments and economies , is there such terrible evil abounding?
And why are Christians persecuted ? According to Open Doors, 245 million are faced with extreme persecution with the top 10 countries being: North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, India - who have overtaken China!
Why when we follow a God who promises love and peace and grace and mercy are we persecuted more than the followers of any other religion? Why?
And the answer of course is that there is a spiritual battle that is raging in the heavenly places - one that we cannot see or hear but one that we see the effects of in our world.
We have an enemy and he is mighty - his desire is to destroy those who know God, who love Him and long for His return. His desire is to destroy God Himself, to be worshipped in His place and he will stop at nothing to achieve that desire.
You and I as believers in the Lord Jesus live in a war zone - when we came to Christ we were thrown into a battle that was already raging and though we perhaps did not and maybe do not understand the devil's schemes, still God has called us to stand firm in His truth.
Next Saturday we will have a conference entitled 'Fighting for Freedom' (the details are on our website) and I want to encourage you to come if you can - to come and hear God speak about the way He has provided for you in the battle.
Come and listen as He tells you all that He has already done to enable you to stand firm.
Come and listen as He tells you that He has already overcome Satan and all of his demons but that we are here to fight 'for such a time as this'.
Come and hear your God, come and be equipped to fight for your freedom and to go out in the victory of Christ Jesus!
Ps 59:17 O my strength, I will sing praises to You; for God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.