Thursday, October 29, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 10/29/09
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
Hope breeds strength and strength, courage, yet how is it possible to have hope in this world as we see so many struggling, so many battling, so many held in such grim and meager estates as their peace and their comfort is robbed from them leaving them with what seems like the darkness of iniquity as they find themselves in sin's grasp? The life is strangled from them as they are taken from everything they know, from everything they care about and love. They can hold on to nothing as they look upon their place and are left to wonder how it is that they have found themselves now in the places where they are. Sorrow and pain seems to surround them, and anguish and agony seems to fill their lungs with every breath that they take.
Oppression and persecution, captivity and tyranny seem so often to be the tools of this world as subjugation and repression comes so easily and liberty seems so fleeting. There is nothing left then for those who are held as hostages or are kept in dark dungeons or who have been made into slaves but to wonder why and what for as their lives seem to draw to an end right before their eyes. What is really left to them, what is really left for them as they come to understand that there is nothing but the horrors and the torment that can be inflicted on them by wicked and evil men as their hearts are broken, their spirits are burdened and their souls find themselves in such torturous places? Suffering seems to be all that is left to them amidst all of this.
Where then is the hope? Where then can they draw their strength from? Where can they find the courage that they so desperately need, the courage that seems to have fled from them as they have found themselves now in these darker places, their faces hidden from the world? What is really left to them now as they cry out, longing for something more, something better, a life that they fear that they will never see again, loved ones that they are afraid that they will never be able to touch or to hold in their arms again? Where is it? What is it? Why is it?
They long for the answers deep within them as they find themselves held amidst chaos and sorrow, amidst pain and agony never knowing what will come of their lives, never knowing when it will come to an end, if this day will be their last and this breath will be their final one. They have nothing but the dread and the terror that fills them as they live amidst the horrors of evil and unrighteousness that fills the hearts of their captors and their persecutors, those tyrants who live by their own code, following their own ways with little thought or consideration beyond their own greed, and ambition and self righteousness.
Yet in the Psalm of David today do we hear the words of truth, the words of righteousness, spoken by the ancient King of Israel. Through God, our Heavenly Father, there is a shelter, there is a refuge for even the most lost of souls, and by His righteousness He shall deliver His people from the hands of iniquity and sorrow. He shall turn His ears to their cries, His eyes to their plight as He finds Himself there with them. He shall be the safe haven, the sanctuary of their souls, to give them the peace and comfort, shining truth and love in their lives, giving them a light that will cut through the darkness that now so envelops them. He shall be their rock and their fortress through all of these grim days, through all of these painful days, even as all they seem to know is suffering and sorrow.
Regardless of the traps that this world may set, regardless of what wicked and evil men may do to try and ensnare their victims, regardless of the hold that Satan may have on this world the Lord shall free His people from it, showing that He is the one with the power and the authority as He puts it all to flight. There is power in His love and His compassion, in His mercy and His guidance and He shall shine through in all things, through all things for the cause of His people. It is there that we know that those who place their trust in the evils of this world shall find their end as God works through this temporal existence to shine His light, to bring His hope unto all those who are in desperate need.
There is, after all, no captivity that God, the Lord God Almighty, cannot conquer and has not conquered. The freedom that came from Christ, our Savior, at the cross, is a transcending freedom that puts to end the dark hold of the bondage we all felt to sin, death and the Devil, as he set captivity captive and ransomed a lost and fallen race. It is here that God tells us that come what may, come what must His power is the ultimate power in this world, and that His authority shall never be broken, regardless of what may be thrown against His people. Their lives may be consumed with agony, their days and their years with grief, they may have even forgotten what freedom and justice is, but He shall break through to show His love unto His people in all things, through all things, as He has always done through every chapter, through ever place in history, for He is our God and we are His people and all the time is in His hands, regardless of what it may seem like.
Through the faith that He gives unto His people in the love and the mercy, the compassion and the grace He shall not let them be put to shame, He shall not let them perish, regardless of what may rise up against them in this age or through any age. He shall always and forever preserve the faithful and contend with the cause of the needy and the oppressed, never letting their story end with the darkness that now seems to consume them and the chaos that seems to so overtake them. It is His promise unto His people and one that He has always and forever remained faithful to throughout all times, in all places.
This is the hope that breeds strength and the strength that breeds courage, and it comes from the power of the Lord God Almighty, a loving Heavenly Father who never fails or forsakes His people, a merciful and caring Heavenly Father who never abandons them regardless of what the world may throw at them. It is a hope that stems from the faithful assurances of His promises as He shows that He is at work in their lives, through their lives for their good and for their cause. He does not let them be devoured nor does He let them be destroyed even as it seems like all that they know is pain and suffering. He is moving and He is at work in their lives.
Be of hope and place your trust therefore in the promises of the Lord and know that whatever may come, whatever may be He shall be on their for His people, giving them the strength they need to endure, just as He did to the prophets and the disciples, the saints and the apostles, the kings and the martyrs throughout all of the ages. He was at work in their lives and He shall be at work in the lives of all people who find themselves amidst the darkest of days of hardship and sorrow, regardless of the captivity that seeks to swallow them, that seeks to destroy them.
Praise be to His glorious name for that.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end, Amen.