Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
Hope for the Oppressed and Persecuted
Theme Verse: “For the needy shall not always be forgotten:
the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.” (Verse 8)
Father, I rejoice that this psalm directs my mind to the fact that you are indeed Lord. You have a special love for those who hope in you. In your absolute sovereignty, you choose and can do whatever you will. Because you have created man in your image, man also has the ability to choose and act, but I can find peace with you for you are righteous. This is not so with men; their innate, inherited slant toward sin coupled with the ability to choose cannot be trusted. Unrepentant men become oppressors. As beasts, they are unpredictable in their vain actions. Because natural men do not have your righteous, holy character, they are fearful in their oppressions of those weaker than they.
Once embraced as acceptable practice, a sin grows as a cancer. Therefore, as your Spirit convicts oppressors of their sins, they often turn upon the righteous. The righteous remind them of what they ought to be. Their darkened minds do not understand, so they persecute the righteous as an expression of their rebellion against you.
Even as Saul of Tarsus was surprised to hear Jesus ask: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" so will my enemies be when you defend me. "For you, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you" and "For the needy shall not always be forgotten." Therefore, I trust my defense to you in the face of men who would persecute me just because I trust and seek to serve you. I would not have cause to trust, except that it is related to your calling me into your family through faith in Christ as my Savior.
Father, even as you are long-suffering with all sinners, not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance, so help me to be. Give me grace to bear the suffering of unbelievers’ pressure and persecutions, as I wait upon you and find my security in you. Grow my
through my valley of tears. Help my trust and love for you to strengthen as I remember my Savior's sufferings on the cross and His intercession for his tormentors. Lord, by faith, I rest in your loving arms as a lamb snatched from the jaws of a lion and as a twig plucked from a burning fire.
Father, I thank you for your Spirit who emboldens me to call you "Father" (Rom 8:15-18)! This is your work in me for my natural mind would never call you that, for it is at enmity against you (Rom 8:5-8). Therefore, in my struggles and for my deliverance, I join with the Apostle Paul in exclaiming and giving thanks by faith:
“Rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil 3:3)