I’ve began to understand what King David meant when he said, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” (Psalm 23:5)
IN THE PRESENCE.
The battle was STILL raging, the suffering real, but David found a table full of God’s blessings right in the middle of the war zone!
I watched my son experience this last night as someone recently hurt him deeply..
Though my son is suffering at the discovery, I sat with him as he read from his phone a list he had made of the work God was doing in his heart over this, and the blessings God had brought from other times of suffering in his life.
While our hearts might be prone to wonder how God could let hard things happen in our lives, especially when our intentions were truly good, God uses His Word to remind us to EXPECT the battles and to continue to seek to glorify God IN THE VERY MIDST of them.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.“ (1 Peter 4:12-16)
Peter wants us to understand, when we suffer there is an opportunity to draw closer to Jesus, give God glory, and experience joy.
I truly believe as Christians suffer we have the opportunity to sit down at a table of blessings (like a Thanksgiving table full of good things).
As we sit in suffering, God grows us, and helps us take a sober look at our own hearts— is there a limit to how much I’m willing to suffer for the cause of Christ? I’m more thankful than ever that Jesus put no limits on what He was willing to do to pursue my wandering, rebellious heart.
Through suffering, God also gives us a greater peace as He helps us us lay down more expectations for how life should go. He helps us to find peace when we ask Him to receive glory from every circumstance—even the hardest ones.
Yes, even, and maybe especially through suffering, God prepares a the table for us.
HE simply asks us to SIT DOWN, to be still in His presence, and recognize His good, sovereign hand in our lives.
It’s true, God allows hard things to come our way, but He is right there with us in it working every hard thing for good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose (Rom 8:28).
There is incredible peace in knowing we can trust our souls to our Good Father because He is ALWAYS faithful (1 Pet 4:19).
Yes, I see it, and so does my son, God does prepare a table IN THE PRESENCE of our enemies and in the suffering ! No weapon formed against us will stand. Victory belongs to our King!