Why do We Seize Defeat in the Midst of Victory?

Devotional Thought of the Day:

25  I lie defeated in the dust; revive me, as you have promised. 26  I confessed all I have done, and you answered me; teach me your ways. 27  Help me to understand your laws, and I will meditate on your wonderful teachings. 28  I am overcome by sorrow; strengthen me, as you have promised. 29  Keep me from going the wrong way, and in your goodness teach me your law.   Psalm 119:25-29 (TEV)

205      Tell Our Lord with your whole heart: In spite of all my wretchedness I am madly in Love!, I am drunk with Love!  (1)

I understand the cry fo the Psalmist,

There are days I want to lie in defeat, to just give up the fight.

Oh, I bravely dismiss this in front of others, half joking that I want Jesus to return tomorrow.

Yet even as I say that, even as I assure the others of the truth we all know and depend on, that God is with us, even as we know this, like the psalmist, we can be overcome with sorrow.

There are times where this lesson seems like a never ending rollercoaster, as we bottom out in despair, as God lifts us up and we catch our breath, another wave of sorrow swamps us.

We aren’t the first to learn this lesson, one only has to hear the words of beloved hymns, such as

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul

or

And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said.”For hate is strong. And mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

You can’t read the great pastors of the church, from Chrysostom, Augustine and Luther, to the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, without hearing this echoing rollercoaster.  Psalm 199 times cries out for God to revive us, not in parallelism, or as a chorus, even as we hear it across so many of the Psalms, across the prophets.

The answer, of course, is always the same.

God is not dead, it is well with our souls, He has revived us in Christ!

THE LORD IS WITH US!

Yes!  We need to hear this over and over, for the waves will come, we will have those times where we feel like we are defeated, the temptation will be to believe that we can’t go on another moment.  We want to snatch defeat, right in the midst the victory we have gained, when the Spirit of God descended upon us in Baptism, and united us to the death of Christ, that we may live.  That our lives would be abundant and filled with the love of God.

In the midst of the anxiety, the agony and stress, these words of St Josemaria wring out – and it is hard to fathom, but knowing God is with us brings hope, as we learn to be thankful, as we learn to adore Him.  Yes – we adore the Lord who allows the storms, but also is there, assuring us, comforting us, helping us to remember the peace which He has given us.

For this is what we know, it is what we teach, it is what we depend upon, and it is real.

We just need to be reminded, often.  Even as the night is still dark, and we wait for the sun to rise.  It shall, He has promised.

AMEN!

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 907-908). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on May 13, 2016, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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