Thank You Jesus!

Psalm 74:21

Lord, do not let the downtrodden be put to shame.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

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The steeple of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri with the cross on top extols Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

Whenever I read some of the more desperate Psalms, I’m not able fully to embrace them. These Psalms express dire need for God’s intervention and help against his enemies which seem a bit beyond my personal experience or conclusion. I don’t see an enemy at every turn, or a plot to take my life every day. I think, however, I am both insulated from those realities and blind to their nearness.

It might be that I’m not at war. No one is trying to kill me. I live in a comfortable home, with modern conveniences and sufficient resources to make my way through life. I am not living out a Blacklist or The Americans kind of tension-filled drama every day. I do not like to think of myself as downtrodden or weak. I abhor the victim mentality. I think of myself as strong, capable, and well supplied.

So I can turn one of two ways. First would be to acknowledge that there is a war, even though it hasn’t touched me as directly or dramatically as it might. I do have an enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. I need not to kid myself, and then thank and praise God for his deliverance, mercy, faithfulness, love, and rescue. Thank you Jesus!

It might also be that I need to acknowledge my privileged position of wealth, prosperity, security, and strength. None of it comes apart from God’s favor. And none of it is to be used to burden or oppress others. My strength and my power (whatever level of it there is) is to be used to help the oppressed, and lift the burdens of the downtrodden. In this case, Jesus’ example is both inspiring and instructive. Thank you Jesus!

Clearly the most downtrodden man ever to have lived is neither King David nor Job, but Jesus of Nazareth. But when he had made atonement for our sins he was raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of God. God is faithful and rescues the downtrodden, and saves us with his grace. Thank you Jesus!

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