“Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.” (Psalms 5:8 ESV)
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:11 – 5:12 ESV)
It’s a nasty, unfriendly world out there; for the Christian especially. To think otherwise is to be ignorant of God’s word.
Jesus said, “If they’ve hated Me, they will hate you also.”
John wrote, “He came unto His own (the people He had covenant with through Abraham) and His own received Him not.” (John 1).
And that’s what every child of God should expect: trouble from those whose beliefs are diametrically opposed to ours.
Of course trouble may come in different ways; from severe persecution to a mere intolerance of our beliefs and ideas. But nevertheless, trouble will find its way to every person who believes God’s word enough to live it.
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12 ESV).
When’s the last time you reminded yourself that as long as you’re living in this world, you are surrounded by enemies? Have you come to grips with the word from James where he states a person must choose where their loyalty lies?
“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4 ESV).
It goes along with what Jesus spoke:
“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:13 ESV).
And John the beloved’s words:
“Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13 ESV).
Another passage to read is found in Hebrews 11; the story of Abraham regarding himself a pilgrim and a stranger here on earth while waiting for a city Whose builder and maker is God.
Paul wrote to the Philippians: “To depart and be with Christ is far better (than continuing to live here on earth)”.
Child of God, you are surrounded by enemies. Unfriendly forces are set against you to try and trip you up, get you to compromise your devotion to the Lord and to besmirch the Name of Christ.
But you are not without hope! God did not leave you to walk through life on your own. He’s promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. He has sent the Holy Spirit to empower you, thus giving you victory over every trial and temptation.
He is with you in trouble as your ever present Help in time of need. You will never face anything by yourself, if you’ll simply call upon His Name!
“Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Romans 10:12 – 10:13 NLT).
The Psalmist wrote this promise from God Almighty:
“The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.” (Psalm 91:14 – 91:15 NLT).
It’s a mean, nasty, ugly world. And sometimes, it’s even worse!
Yes, sometimes the devil and his cohorts try and wear us down and tear us up. Peter referred to the devil as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He tried to devour Daniel but couldn’t get it accomplished!
David talked about walking through a dark, dangerous valley. Though he was surrounded by enemies, he declared to all who could hear him, “I will fear no evil because You are with me, Lord! In fact, You make it possible for me to feed on Your faithfulness while my enemies watch with frustration.”
You may feel like you’re walking through that same valley, surrounded by the same enemy of old.
But you are not alone. You can (and should) remind yourself daily (at least), Who God is to you, in you, and around you. Plus, remind your enemies just Who it is they’re messing with.
Use some of David’s words if you’d like.
“O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill…I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” (Psalm 3:1-4,6 ESV)
After all, even though you’re surrounded by enemies, you are God’s property; His purchased possession.
And He always takes care of His own.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” (Psalm 91:1 – 91:2 NLT).