Be of Good Courage!
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Psa 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

May 18, 2006                                             Be of Good Courage!

Psa 31:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
Psa 31:2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for a house of defense to save me.
Psa 31:3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
Psa 31:4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
Psa 31:5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
Psa 31:6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.

This Psalm is a testimony of a man who loved God going through a very hard trial, his faith was tested, his endurance tested, and it's a testimony of victory at the same time. David is telling the Lord, I'm trusting you, don't let me be ashamed, deliver me and hear me, and defend me, save me. I hear what they are saying about me, I hear their lies. I know they are setting traps for me hoping I'll fall. Be my strong rock, my defender who will set me free and rescue and preserve me. Oh, on account of your name of honor, and character, and integrity, lead me and guide me through this awful trial. Remember, his father-in-law wants him dead. He's been promised by God and anointed by the prophet Samuel to be King over Israel, yet he's on the run for his life. There are people who would sell him out to gain favor with Saul. There are those who curse his name. Yet, he's committed his very life into the hand of God, knowing his enemy has laid a trap for him, and knowing he has not the strength to escape, but the Lord is his strength. He sounds as if he's partly encouraging himself, to shut out the voice that accuses him, reminding himself, I've hated those who love the vain things of this world, I trust in the Lord. He is making a declaration of faith and confidence in the midst of a great trial. He believes he'll come out of this glad, and rejoice in the mercy of the Lord because he looked upon the trouble David was in and acknowledged it, he took knowledge of the fact David was in a big trial, and was suffering adversity, affliction, anguish, distress and tribulation. He acknowledged that the Lord had not left him in the hand of the enemy or left him to fend for himself. He says, Lord, you've made me stand, through your strength, you've given me liberty, and strength to stand. He cries out for mercy, tells the Lord he's in trouble, he's got sorrow and tribulation in his life. His appearance is suffering because of the grief in his soul, his gut is wrenched with the affliction he is battling. He hears the accusing voice of the enemy, he knows there's a measure of truth in there, for he acknowledges he is weak and grieved because of the iniquity in him, and the knowledge is eating him up inside. His reputation was in tatters, people had the wrong idea about David. They were afraid to associate with him, at this time, because of his trouble, perhaps they assumed he had drawn wrath from God, and avoided him, after all, people who are innocent don't have this kind of trouble, do they? Sure they do, when God has a plan to use their life the devil will use whatever and whomever he can to try to hinder that plan and destroy an individual's faith in God's promises.

 Many were envious of him, and his relationship with God, his position in Israel. They were trying to tear him down. It was well known he had favor with God. People were jealous of David, they tried to tear him down, at times. He made some bad mistakes. He had a man killed so he could take his wife, and to cover up the affair. He marked for death by his father-in-law. He had the strength to take on Philistine giants and slaughter them, but when his own son raped his David's daughter, he did nothing, giving birth to a great bitterness in Absalom's heart. He repented, he knew his sins. The devil tricked him into focusing on flesh and numbered the people, which was a step toward pride and self-reliance. Not everyone was loving and kind to him, as was Jonathan. Even some of his own relatives turned on him, including his son, Absalom. David trusted his life to God's hand, and asked for deliverance from the persecution. He cries out for God to shut the mouth of the wicked ones who lied on him, and said terrible things against him. This doesn't just apply to people who don't like you. What about the adversary of your soul? When I read this Psalm, that's who I see between the lines, taunting and trying to torment David. But God has a plan of powerful deliverance. What a loving, mighty God!

When I read these verses my heart agrees and sighs, yes Lord, please do this. Because whose voice do Christians who are truly seeking God, and love God and righteousness, and have rejected the world, whose voice do they hear most with vicious hatred, and terrible accusation designed to destroy us? The devil, of course. In verse 19, he says " for them that trust in thee before the sons of men" and he's talking about the goodness God has reserved for those who fear and reverence him. But that phrase in quotations, it means "to flee for protection, to confide in, have hope, make refuge, put trust in." Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence. What would that be? What is the secret of his presence? It's a covering, a hiding place of protection, according to Strong's Hebrew. He hid Moses in the cleft of the rock while he passed by. I believe he hides us in his Son. For we are complete in him, lacking nothing, (Col 2:10) because in HIM is the fullness of the godhead bodily. The word "pavilion" means lair, tabernacle, tent. From the strife of tongues? In the original Hebrew, that word means "a contest, personal or legal, adversary, cause, chiding, contention, controversy.
Psa 31:21 "He hath showed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city" when I looked this up, it made me want to cry. It stopped me in my tracks. He has shown me his wondrous works, his miracles, he's performed. He's shown me hidden things, too high for anyone else to do. And the part about "in a strong city" oh, wow. When you're hemmed in, in distress, besieged, battling a strong hold, of the enemy, the Lord shows you his favor, his loving kindness, his merciful kindness. I can so relate to this next verse, too. "Oh, because of the pressure, because of the battle, because I was weak and allowed discouragement to seep in, I considered that I was cut off, rejected by God that he no longer looked on me with love or favor because of my failures, because of the hissing of the voice of the enemy lying to my simple mind. BUT God showed what a liar the enemy was by hearing my prayers, anyway when I cried out in desperation, wanting God, loving God, in spite of the fear that tried to battle my mind. And yes, oh, after surviving this kind of trial, and seeing the faithfulness of God as the ONLY thing that brought me through, I can with this writer say, "Oh, Love the Lord, all ye his saints, he'll preserve the faithful, and he'll abundantly repay the arrogant devil who tries to torment and tear me down. What a wonderful note to end on: Be of good courage and the Lord will strengthen my heart, because I hope in him. This goes to all who hope in him. Be of good courage!!!!

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