Psalm 69:1-5, 30-36

            We have all likely at times felt the anguish of the psalmist:  being so overwhelmed that it feels like we are drowning.  The feeling is compounded exponentially when behind the sense of trying to keep our heads above water there are people who do not like us – maybe even hate us, to the point of undermining our work every chance they get.  It is in such circumstances that we can experience sleepless nights hoping that somehow and someway God will show up.

            The typical modus operandi for such a situation is the age old route of complaining and wishing things were different.  But neither griping about our adversity nor dishing out slander and gossip toward others is a godly way of dealing with problems.  Just the opposite response is the proper path to the bone-crushing feeling of opposition:  praising God’s name with a song, and magnifying him with thanksgiving.  The reason the believer can engage in adoring God in the midst of trouble is not some Jedi-type mind trick to make us think more positively.  Instead, the basis for praise is in knowing God.  It is God who ultimately will deal with the wicked; it is the Lord who will bend his ear to listen to our lament when times are hard. 

            Thanking God for answers to prayer in advance of them actually being answered is a biblical thing to do.  Having a faith robust enough to see ahead toward hope can bring love to a loveless situation, and usher in praise before the divine deed of deliverance is even accomplished.

            Saving God, thank you for your deliverance!  I give you praise for loving me through sending your Son, the Lord Jesus, to this realm so that I might experience salvation from sin, death, and hell.  By Christ’s authority, in the power of the Holy Spirit given to me, I resist the enemy’s attempts to seize control of my life.  I belong to you, God.  Amen.

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