Monday, October 5, 2009

Mid-Day Devotion 10/5/09

Christ on the Cross, Peter Paul Reubens, 1627

“I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
Psalm 18:1-3

There are times of darkness, times of hardship and sorrow, agony and pain that hold the soul captive amidst this world as the spirit cries out and the body finds itself hurt and so wrought with pain, growing tired and weary in the challenges that it faces. There are times when the world, so prone to chaos, ceases to make sense and the trials and the tribulations seem so near, so overwhelming, so overshadowing as they break the heart and leave the shattered ruins of a person’s lives in its wake.

It is there that they long for some sort of comfort, for some sort of relief, as they find that their peace is ripped from their hands and their hurt has become so palpable, so real in their lives. Their voices may seem weak, almost as if a whisper or a whimper from their lips as they call out, but their cries are so loud, so real as they do, wondering where their help is, wondering if this is all that they have to expect in this life, wondering if they are going to be left to these gloomy, harsh and hard times that threaten to rob them of everything, even their life. They can’t help it as those same words called out by Christ seem to escape their lips “My God, my God, why hath thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

How could they not feel that amidst the desperation and the despair, amidst the destruction and the desolation that they see and feel and know so well?

Yet even amidst the darkness of brutal captivity and bitter tyranny, in whatever form it may take, there is hope. Even in the grim and harsh cruelty of the bondage that seeks to destroy the spirit and the soul, the body and the mind, as it tries to crush all that makes a person who they are, as it tries to lay to waste all that they dream of being, there is hope, and it is a wondrous, abiding hope that transcends the ages. In its hand it has the key to unlock the chains of slavery and lead captivity captive as it ransoms all the hostages and prisoners to evil and to wickedness who now find themselves in such evil and wicked places of iniquity, held within the grips of those dark forces in this world.

As we toil amidst this temporal existence and find ourselves in this earthly plane, there is always going to be the power that the wicked try to exert itself, there is always going to be a darkness and a chaos that they use as their weapons as they seek to set the world ablaze amidst the chaos that they reap and dwell off of. There are always going to be those who are ruled over by iniquity and hatred, fear and loathing as they hold humanity cheap and try to rob life of all of its dignity and its integrity.

Yet to live in faith is to abide in the undying and unending hope that there is an ever present help, an ever present force for good in this world that will end captivity and break the chains that would seek to bind us. It is to believe that there is an ever faithful and devoted power that contends with the cause and the plight of the people and never abandons them as they find them held by the contemptful forces of evil that can abide in this world. To live in faith is to find the hope that there is an inevitable triumph, and that to every crisis of the spirit, to every plight of the heart, every captivity that seeks to take people hostage, every captivity that seeks to ransom them off as if they were nothing more than a piece of property, or nothing of any real value or worth, there is a triumph. A triumph that comes to dwell amidst the people that shines a light through their souls as a beacon of hope.

That is to live in the hope, the strength and the truth of the Lord, and it will always and forever shelter His people in the shadow of His wings, according to His love and compassion, His mercy and His grace. He shall stand against the enemies that rise against His word and His people to show them that He is their strength and their deliverance in any and all things that they face.

What a wondrous blessing, what an amazing assurance it is that comes from the word of the Lord, as He proves Himself to be ever devoted, ever faithful to the cause of His people, regardless of the challenges they face, regardless of the trials and the turmoils that weighs deeply on them. There is no tribulation, there is no captivity, that He will let abide. He will set it all to flight as He draws His people close, holding them near and dear to His breast, as He gives them that comfort and that peace that they have so longed for, that they have so yearned for, through the power of His Spirit.

Therefore be strong and of good courage. Find strength and hope in the faith that you have in the Lord, knowing that He will never fail you or forsake you. He will never abandon you, He will never leave you, even as the wolves seek to devour, even as they seek to put an end to all your life and all that you had in it. God shall show His light and His truth, and His righteousness , and He shall lead His people down the path of His glory according to His grace and according to His name’s sake.

Through the power of Christ Jesus, His only begotten Son He proved that there is no power, no force in this world, of this world, or with this world that can stand against Him as he set His people free through that encompassing sacrifice that came at the Cross. No longer then were they held by the dark power of sin, death and the devil, but rather they were reconciled unto Him as He broke the chains of bondage and Christ led captivity captive. There may be we forever know that if this is the power of the Lord contending with the cause of His children, then how much more does He do for them amidst the pains and the trials of this world, as the iniquity of others tries to bring them pain, a pain that He has already released us from?

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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