God, Save Me From Persecution

by Richard Mansel, assistant editor
stormy.jpg “Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble” (Psalm 31:9, NKJV). We have been there. The waves pound against the hull of the boat and the spray covers our faces and the wind stings our cheeks. We worry that the boat will capsize and we will be lost. Our fear mounts by the second as we fight to survive. Prayer eludes us as our brain numbs with fear.
We fight our sins, the persecutions of others, the general distress of life and the omnipresent temptations that lie in our paths. All of these can prove fatal if we do not inoculate ourselves against them. Faith is the answer (Romans 10:9-10,17). We must know that no matter what assails us, Christ will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). He helps us when our minds are clouded with chaos (Romans 8:26; John 6:20; John 14:6; Psalm 46:10).
Enemies of the cross still seek daily to destroy Christians. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Our very pedigree will be sufficient reason for Satan’s forces to attack us. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18).
When we stand for godliness, we will empower the guilty consciences of the sinner. They know when they are wrong morally but they are so adamant that they be righteous that they will go to any lengths to believe it. They will perform mental gymnastics in order to be at peace with themselves. We must remember that denial and rationalization will allow the sinful mind to accomplish anything it wishes. Whatever it takes to sleep at night, the mind will find a way to make it happen.
We are a part of this struggle. When we happen to be on the side of their consciences that they have not yet been seared, we feel the wrath of their inner turmoil (1 Timothy 4:2). We have to mature to the point where we realize the true source of their anger. However, they will never be any easier to deal with, despite our advanced understanding. No one desires persecution.
David laments that there is something worse than being persecuted by friends of Satan. “I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me” (Psalm 31:11). His own friends turn against him in an ultimate humiliation. His loneliness is complete.
Despite the defeats facing him, God has never left. David seeks deliverance from danger. “Let the wicked be ashamed; Let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence” (Psalm 31:17b-18a). He seeks relief from the Lord who provides all that we need for salvation and solace. “Unless the LORD had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence…Your comforts delight my soul” (Psalm 94:17,19b).
When Jesus promises, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28), it comes with a guarantee both eternal and golden.

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