Psalms 118 NKJV
1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let Israel now say, "His mercy endures forever."
3 Let the house of Aaron now say, "His mercy endures forever."
4 Let those who fear the LORD now say, "His mercy endures forever."
5 I called on the LORD in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.
6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
7 The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.
10 All nations surrounded me, But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
11 They surrounded me, Yes, they surrounded me; But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12 They surrounded me like bees; They were quenched like a fire of thorns; For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
13 You pushed me violently, that I might fall, But the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.
Have you ever been afraid? I don’t mean that startled feeling that comes when something unexpected suddenly happens - like having a blowout on a car or a dog comes from out of nowhere and barks at you and makes you jump. That’s a different kind of fear than the fear I’m referring to this morning.
The kind of fear I want to talk to you about today is that gripping haunting captivating fear that looms large and overshadows every other facet of life so that every thought, each conversation and activity is subject to being interrupted and somehow colored by that fear. This type of fear produces either depression or anger. Life can so quickly become a prison when everything you see, hear or experience has to be passed through a filter of fear, hurt and anger. People hate to be made to feel afraid.
Fear can make us hate our enemies, hate our co-workers and even hate members of our own family. Fear, or the threat of it, can make us want to retaliate and hurt those whom we imagine are perpetrating that threat. Whether real or imagined, threats can make irrational behavior seem very rational to the person who is afraid. For the most part, people just want to stop being made to feel afraid while for others, they feel a vengeful rage which cannot be satisfied until they have hurt those whom they feel are hurting them or the people they love.
Injustice looms louder and lasts longer than those times when there were no infractions. When we take it personal or make it personal … or worse yet, when it is personal, it can be very hard to get over.
We cannot justify what some people do in their personal reaction to the things they fear … but we can try to understand that fear. We can hope to understand without fearing that our attempts to understand will somehow validate or justify horrible acts that we cannot and should not tolerate.
· Fear is terrible …
· Justified fear is worse …
· Because fear has torment …
· It’s terrible to be continually tormented by fear … however …
The Psalmist wrote about both a natural time and a spiritual time. We who are Born Again Believers and Members of the Body of Christ throughout the earth are living today in the Spiritual Age of the Church. King David speaks of the eternal principle which teaches us that:
Our victory is not in our enemy’s defeat. Our victory is in the Name of the Lord!
Our greatest help and our only hope to right the wrongs and heal the hurts caused to us by Satan, who is the enemy of our souls, will be found in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Jesus interpreted this Psalm and told us how to defeat our enemies. He said it this way:
Matthew 5 NKJV
43 "You have heard that it was said, ’You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
Proverbs 25 NKJV
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you.
Romans 12 NKJV
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The only true victory will come by the Spirit of the Lord when the hearts and minds of men and women are set free from demonic deception that breeds prejudice, racism, fear, hatred, radical terrorism, hate mongering, and revenge. If this deliverance is ever to take place it must first begin at the House of God and with the Children of God. Just as King David said, victory over our enemies is in the Name of the Lord.
The Church cannot take sides in the world and follow the devil’s desire to pit man against man, family against family, race against race or religion against religion. The Church, which is the family of God in the earth, must represent God. The unified Church of the Living God must stand together and be above the common prejudices and biased acts and attitudes we see in the world. The prince of this world has tried to manipulate Believers and bring disunity even in the Church in attempts to separate Christians on issues related to the injustices inherent in a world governed by man.
The Church must be aware of these injustices and racial inequalities in America and around the world and speak to them and stand with those downtrodden and disenfranchised without becoming hardened or violent in our reactions. We must take our stand for what is right based on the Word of the Lord Jesus and for His purposes and not for the causes of men. Hate and vengeance are not a duty God has given to the Church.
Injustices and acts of terrorism are perpetrated by those who are mentally and spiritually unstable. All of the heinous acts we have seen on the nightly news these past few weeks are indicative of a world without the love, joy, and peace that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
What can you do? What does God expect and what does this world need from the Church and from every Born Again Believer in Jesus - White; Black; Hispanic; Asian; Employer; Employee, Student; Teacher; Police and Prisoner alike … If you are a Believer in Jesus I command you, yet not I but the Lord:
1. Recognize the Reality of Racism and Realize that it is a demonic force aimed at tearing down individuals and people groups and tearing up Relationships within families, communities, and nations.
2. Repent of any involvement or support you have given to the devil’s desires by tolerating racist thoughts, attitudes, or acts in your life, family, or circle of friends without Raising a Reasonable challenge.
3. Stop participating in conversations where disparaging remarks are made.
4. Pray for those on every side who are hurt, afraid, angry and filled with the poison of hatred spread by the devil and those who work iniquity. And especially pray for those who just want peace, justice, forgiveness, and hope – those who are working for a better tomorrow.
5. Do your Part to be a Hand Reaching out, a Heart Opened up and a Voice Speaking Light in the darkness of this world.
Philippians 2:15 That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.