Life: It has a way of stepping on itself.
When we are busy doing good and godly things the evil intentions of our seen and unseen enemies will get in the way. I often wish I could stop the world and just face the issues in front of me, but life doesn’t work that way. Most often we have to keep going even when it feels like we have nothing to go on.
King David Could Relate…
King David wrote many Psalms about pursuing ahead even when times are rough:
Psalm 27:1-3, “The LORD is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.”
Psalm 31:1-5, “O LORD, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe. You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger. Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone. I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, LORD, for you are a faithful God.”
David sings of God’s protection and His justification of the repentant and righteous person in many other Psalms, such as 7, 34, and 52.
God hears our cries for help and delivers us when we repent of our sin. So whether our circumstances are consequences of our own sin, consequences of another person’s sin, or simply because sin exists in world through the heart of man, we can trust that God will give us the strength we need to keep going, as long as we remain humble and contrite in heart (Psalm 51:17).
“Keep On Keepin’ On”
In other words, keep going even when you think you can’t. This kind of perseverance reminds me of a professor of mine at Moody Bible Institute named Dr. Sauer. He was an incredibly godly man and left the deepest impression on me. A day I will never forget was when I was sitting in class and he walked in, telling us that his daughter had been found dead the day before. I was shocked — both at the loss of his daughter, and the fact that he was at work that day! Yet that class was unforgettable as he recounted the need to remain faithful even when life turns upside down.
He came and spoke to a small group of us later and recounted the story, listen to this:
[Transcript of the audio clip from Dr. Sauer]
Our daughter killed herself on Tuesday afternoon. The next day, about five in the morning, she [his wife, Sweet Sue] went to work and I’m in my office ready for Bible study and prayer. I’m hurting so bad, in a sense I don’t feel anything. I’m confused, I’m almost upset at the Bible, angry at God, but we don’t miss a minute of work or a day.
Now, some people might say, “Oh yes, but you were a 56-year-old mature man when your daughter killed herself, and these students here at Moody are young and they are not able to respond like that.” Remember what Jesus said in John 13? “I gave you an example. As I washed your feet, you go and wash the feet of other people.” Okay? “I’ve given you an example.”
When tragedy strikes and you are hurt, get a grip on yourself and, with God’s grace, full speed ahead with whatever you got.
The True Test of What We Value
What we value most will determine what we live for most. When we feel like we’ve had a major loss or attack and what has been done to us is unfair, we may be placing too much focus on our own feelings or our own rights. We need to find what God can to do through these circumstances in our lives. When we kick and scream about not getting our way, or what we think is right, it demonstrates what we value the most. If we value Jesus Christ as supreme in our life, we will push ahead in devotion and faithfulness, no matter the circumstances. We will be able to say, I live for God, even when…
Friends, character is victory, it is not a gift. God doesn’t just give a person character (Psalm 1) but He asks us to have deep character that has faith in Him. He will always remain devoted to us, so let’s live a life for God and have a clear display of devotion even when … [fill-in the blank]… happens in our life.