Psalm 56:3-4; 10-11 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for this coming Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 13, “For You have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”
David reminds us to make a confession of trust in the face of fear. The confession is renewed throughout the Psalm but especially in the appointed verses for this coming Sunday. Especially when we face great difficulty, the Lord asks us to cling to His words and promises.
As we have worked through the onslaught of Covid-19 and its effects we are reminded that trials and setbacks are part and parcel of this life. We’re living in a fallen world – outside of Eden. The trials and tests we encounter may at times appear overwhelming. It is then that we realize that Christ has triumphed for us.
Below are brief descriptions of the types of tests that every Christian will likely face. These include,
Fiery trials: intense encounters or struggles; bursts of anger, grief, or loss – 1 Peter 3:12
Infirmities: physical limitations and illnesses - Isaiah 53:4-9, Romans 8:26
Reproaches: ridicule and rejection on account of faith or holiness – Psalm 119:22
Persecutions: harassment and oppression due to religious convictions - Acts 5:41 and Acts 8:1-4
Necessities: wear and care of daily responsibilities – Luke 6:30
Distresses: disappointments and deep hurts – Genesis 35:3; Psalm 4:1
Tribulations: unusual pressures and challenges – Romans 12:12; James 1:12
Temptations: opportunities to yield to our sinful nature – 1 Corinthians 10:13
These are just some of the challenges each generation of Christians have had to endure. The Christians’ life is not a panacea. There will be challenges in your road. As one author explained, “The Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground, and we must be on our guard at all times."
The good news of the Gospel reminds us that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, to defeat death by taking it into Himself, and to wipe away the tears of grief which wet our faces year after year.
Jesus reminds us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”- John 16:33
The hymn ‘In God, my faithful God’ teaches,
1 In God, my faithful God,
I trust when dark my road;
Great woes may overtake me,
Yet He will not forsake me.
My troubles He can alter;
His hand lets nothing falter
A simple yet heartfelt Prayer – “O God, our defender, storms rage about us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear and preserve us from unbelief.”
Prayer, and the hymn, In God, my faithful God, from Lutheran Service Book © 2006, Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis