"The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation). And they who know Your name [who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy] will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You [on the authority of God's Word and the right of their necessity].
Sing praises to the Lord, Who dwells in Zion! Declare among the peoples His doings!" (Psalm 9:9-11, AMP)
It's interesting that the Psalmist speaks of the affliction of his trouble in one sentence but is adamant about praising the Lord in the next.
It is easy to give praise and thanks to God when everything is going well in our lives but how do we respond when we endure affliction?
This Psalm expresses confidence in God's victory over affliction. "To know" refers to having personal, intimate knowledge of someone. We cannot truly know a person unless we first have a relationship with them. The same is with our God. To overcome affliction, we must first be intimate with Him, know Him, and then experience Him.
God is not looking for a people that will prove how good they are, how talented they are, or what great servants they are. He is not looking for a people that will climb back up on that cross, hang themselves on it, and make themselves suffer. If we think we need to take His place on that cross again, then Christ died for nothing. HE was the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus is coming back for those who have a relationship with Him. Anyone who tries to convince otherwise, is speaking contrary to the Gospel. For all our righteous acts are nothing but dirty rags to Him (Isaiah 64:6). If we think we need to earn His good graces by being afflicted and making ourselves suffer, then we have missed the true message of the Gospel.
The Bible is clear that affliction in this lifetime is inevitable. However, there is a distinct difference in enduring troubles that this life brings and enduring trouble because one feels it is the only way to prove themselves faithful to God. Believers don't have to make themselves suffer, for suffering's sake. Suffering will surely come on its own.
Nevertheless, the good news is that those who possess a relationship with Christ and put their trust in the Lord experience His divine protection in times of trouble. That is a promise that God gives to all His children. So go ahead and do as the Psalmist did. Thank Him, trust Him, and sing praises to the Lord!
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org .