Pain and Promise
“Let the righteous be glad: let them rejoice before God:
yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. Sing unto God,
sing praises to His name” (Psalm 68:3-4)
How can you be glad in these perilous times that we are living in? Is it even possible to be glad when a loved one is taken, and grief floods our soul? Can the hearts of parents experience gladness when a beloved son or daughter has been lured away by the evil one into a lifestyle of drugs and alcoholism? Is it realistic to expect to serve the Lord with a joyful spirit when you wake up each day to a life of struggle and affliction, and the building blocks of your life seem to be uprooted? In short, does God call upon His faithful to be glad while we endure tough times?
The answer is YES!
Let us examine the life of a man who was named “a man after the heart of God”: He was a man of sorrow, tears, and affliction. He was betrayed and deceived by his own flesh and blood. Most of his life, he was pursued by his enemies continuously. He was overwhelmed with a life of struggles and repeated warfare. He fought for survival by giving up his throne to seek refuge in the wilderness. Yet in the midst of all his suffering David declared, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” (Ps.100:2) And he further exhorts us to “rejoice exceedingly…” (Ps. 68:3)
This advice to us is not only from King David, but also from the Apostle Peter. Even in the midst of trials and heartaches, Peter encourages us in the same way.
“Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering,
as though something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ,
so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)
Here we learn a principle in prayer: David’s secret of being glad at heart was a result of his entering into the Lord’s presence. (Ps. 21:6) This principle is also confirmed in the life of our ultimate example, the Lord Jesus Himself, who was anointed with the oil of gladness. If you and I practice giving thanks in all things, we too will discover the secret of God anointing us with that same gladness. So even in the midst of pain, we can enter into God’s presence in prayer and obtain joy.
That is our promise.
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