Comfort for the Oppressed

God cares about the abused and the oppressed. He loves the mistreated, but He abhors our affliction. He gathers our tears in His bottle and records them in His journal (Psalm 56:8). He promises not to hide His face from us when we cry out to Him, and He champions our cause (Psalm 22:24, 140:12). He redeems the soul of the afflicted from deceit and violence, and our blood is precious in His sight (Psalm 72:14).

The Lord hates those who love violence and promises to punish them (Psalm 11:5; Zephaniah 1:9). He is wearied by the violence in homes and those who make excuses for divorcing their mate, whom they should be protecting (Malachi 2:16). God promises to lift up the distressed above those who try to hurt them and to deliver them from violent people (Psalm 18:48; Psalm 27:5-6).

Even verbal abuse is dealt with when God inspires Solomon to write, “violence covers the mouth of the wicked” (Proverbs 10:6,11). Jesus equates anger without a cause as murder, and He speaks out against verbal abuse (Matthew 5:21-22). He makes things right and provides the afflicted with a refuge from oppression and trouble (Psalm 9:9; 103:6). He brings down the haughty evil person and saves the afflicted (2 Samuel 22:28).

God gives us hope and a secure future (Jeremiah 29:11). Our weeping may endure for the night, but God gives us joy in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Because we know the name of the Lord, we put our trust in Him. He will never forsake those who seek Him. We end up singing praises to His name for what He does for us and we tell everyone who will listen about what God did for us (Psalm 9:9-11).

Prayer:
Father God, even if we walk through the shadow of death, we have nothing to fear. You are with us and You give us support and protection, as well as correction if we are causing our own misfortune (Psalm 23:4). Even though the righteous may suffer many afflictions, You deliver us out of them all (Psalm 34:19). You order our steps, and even if we fall, we are never completely cast down, because You hold us up with Your hand (Ps 37:23-24). Remind us to bear one another burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to encourage each other in our times of distress (Hebrews 12:12).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus is our rock, fortress and deliverer in whom we can take refuge. He is our shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold. – Psalm 18:2

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The Benefits of Believing

Anger previously ruled our life, and rose up from the disappointments we experience from our conception, and which intensified throughout the years. Some have a more violent past than others, but we all suffered from deprivation, violence, permissiveness and/or wickedness in one form or another. Salvation through Jesus Christ eliminates much of our anger. Christ frees and heals the pain of our past and gives us courage to face the future.

The second asset we receive with salvation is the blanket of peace, which defies human explanation and envelops every fiber of our being (Philippians 4:7). We suddenly realize that we are not alone (Hebrews 13:5). We have no need to struggle through life any longer. Rather than seeing life as full of hopelessness, we see that all things are now possible, because Christ lives in us (Luke 18:27). In our exhaustion, we yoke up with Jesus and find fulfilling rest (Matthew 11:28:390; Hebrews 4:10).

Jealousy and envy no longer rot our bones (Proverbs 14:40), because we realize that God does not love another person better than He loves me. He loves us all enough to go to Calvary’s cross and bear the penalty of our shameful sins. Problems only arise when we compare our life to someone else’s and focus on what we do not have, rather than to live in gratitude for what we do have. God works all things, even bad things, out for the ultimate good (Romans 8:28; John 3:16, 3:34).

We are filled with God’s Spirit (Romans 8:9). We are able to accomplish the works God created for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), because we can do anything now that Christ abides within us (Philippians 4:13, 19). When we feel defeated, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15). God works in and through us as we walk in His Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). We are still powerless alone, but Christ in us is infinitely able. We are now more than conquerors and nothing separates us from His love (2 Corinthians 9:8; Romans 8:37-39).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our Everything (Psalms 23 & 91). There is not a hair on our head that grows in or falls out, which You do not see (Matthew 10:30). You give us wisdom to face the challenges of life (1 Corinthians 1:30), and You walk within us every step of the way (Hebrews 13:5). Each day, we acknowledge You and You direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). When life worries or frustrates us, we can cast every care on Your shoulders, because You care for us infinitely more than we even care about our self (1 Peter 5:7).

Thought for the Day:
When I feel like I can no longer face the challenges of life, I realize that the King of Kings forgives me and provides me with love, power and a calm mind, which allows me to obey His will. – 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1-2, 2 Timothy 1:7