For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. ~Psalm 22:24
In boxing, the knockdown of an opponent is considered an advantage. The opponent is shaken and possibly injured from the hit. The audience gets excited because they are sensing a possible defeat of the one knocked down. However, the one knocked down must decide to stay down for the count or to get up and get back in the fight. The momentum of the fight changes when the one who is knocked down gets back up and fights. He is declaring that even though he is knocked down, he is not knocked out. This morning, we see a passage of Scripture that encourages us when we are in a trial that has knocked us down.
We see the feeling.
When we are going through a difficult trial, there are many low feelings. We feel unassisted: we feel as if God has forsaken us (v.1). We feel unaccompanied: we feel like we have been abandoned and all by ourselves. We feel unheard: we feel like God does not hear our prayers (v. 2). We feel unable: we sense our weakness and inability in our power to change what is happening in our life (v. 6).
We see the fatigue.
Our afflictions and trials can be very draining on us. We are exhausted from sleeplessness. We are weakened from lack of eating and possible dehydration. We are anxious from worry. Our strength is dried up like a potsherd, and we even feel like death is upon us (v. 15). The weight of our affliction makes us feel like we are encircled and there is no way out (v. 16). Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, we are fatigued and weak.
We see the fact.
“For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” In spite of what we have suffered, there is an unchangeable fact. God has not forsaken us! God does not hate us! God is not hiding from us! God hears us when we pray! Many times, we want our affliction to deliver us according to our feeling and timetable. The fact is that God is working for us and in us, even though it does not seem so. God does know all about our affliction! God is there for us, even when we think He is not. God is never more real to us then when we hit rock bottom, look up, and see the salvation of the Lord.
We see the faithfulness.
In all of this, God manifests to us His faithfulness. He is faithful to us because He is our God. He is faithful to us as our Heavenly Father. He is faithful to us as the God of all grace. He is faithful to us as God, Who is holy. We must remember that in all things, God is perfecting His holiness in our lives so that He gets the glory and praise. He teaches us the virtue of meekness so that we are in submission to Him.
We see the freedom.
“The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.” Afflictions are God’s tool to show us the freedom that God gives us over difficulty. We have the freedom of God’s forgiveness and acceptance. We have freedom to praise and worship our Lord. We have freedom to witness and declare His goodness to the lost. We have freedom to come boldly before His throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need. Most important, we have freedom in the midst of our affliction. We might be knocked down, but we are not knocked out!
Have a triumphant God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Joshua 9-11