On my best days, I am happy to let others go ahead. When things are going well, being generous and kind can be easy. But on days when I get cut off in traffic, my head pounds with a migraine, my gas tank is drained, I am caring for someone I love who is suffering, I open a letter of complaint from my HOA, and I am running late, considering anyone else’s needs feels like a stretch.
The words of Psalm 41 challenge me.
Jesus Calls me to Consider
1Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; (Psalm 41:1 ESV)
Even on a bad day, I am still called to consider the poor. I am called to contemplate my role in restoration. So many times, Jesus considered and served people left out and marginalized. He set the example of kindness and generosity even when His enemies surrounded him.
God does not NEED me to serve the poor. However, He calls me to consider those who cross my path in need. He asks me to see their needs. In seeing others’ needs and serving them, I am incrementally being transformed into the likeness of Christ. I become a bearer of Christ’s light in a dark world.
2 the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. (Psalm 41:2 ESV)
Jesus did not waste His precious time defending Himself or His reputation in the face of false accusations. God reigns despite what the enemy of our soul plots and schemes. His will prevails. I can trust that my enemies are not writing my biography; God is. He determines all outcomes and my legacy.
Jesus Sustains me to Serve
3 The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health. 4 As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!” (Psalm 41:3-4 ESV)
God will sustain me, and in due time He will restore my body on Earth or in Heaven. If I am on Earth, God must still have assignments for me to complete. When my earthly body breaks down, and it will, my sins or mistakes don’t determine if I remain ill or receive healing. The enemy of my soul would like me to dwell on my sins and mistakes and become hopeless, but God provides grace for me to bear the light of His hope.
Jesus Protects me against my Enemies’ Deadly Schemes
5 My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die, and his name perish?” 6 And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad. (Psalm 41:5-6 ESV)
The enemy of my soul sends his emissaries to:
- Plant seeds of doubt
- Ask awkward questions
- Speak curses
- Collect evil
- Spread gossip
But Jesus’ death on the cross protects me from the crushing weight of sin. I am saved from the death sentence but not from suffering. The enemy of my soul knows this. However, he continues to strategize ways to distract me with discouragement.
God has given me the weapon of His word. Declaring the truth of scripture in response to every falsehood the enemy utters defends my heart and mind. Speaking scripture floods my mind and heart with the light of Christ.
- When I die, my name will be written in the Book of Life for all eternity. (Philippians 4:3)
- My reputation is fiercely guarded and protected by my heavenly Father. (Psalm 135:13-15)
- My heart can gather joy whenever I spend time with my heavenly Father. (Philippians 4:4-7)
What schemes is the enemy using against you today? What seeds of doubt does he try to plant? What curses have been spoken over you? What gossip is he trying to spread?
Lord, help me to consider the poor, those You want me to serve. Help me to trust You for all outcomes. Thank you for sustaining me through difficulties and challenges. Please shield my heart and mind from the schemes of the evil one. Please help me to trust you more and more. Please help me to be a bearer of light in a dark world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
**The rest of Psalm 41 focuses on Jesus’ final days of earthly ministry. To read more about that, check out this post: https://antheakotlan.com/2022/04/13/a-view-from-the-table-at-the-last-supper/
How are you bearing the light of Christ today in a dark world?