PSALM 44:17-22 – All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way; yet you have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death. If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
THEME OF THE DAY: AS WAS JESUS SO SHALL WE BE. Remember the instruction Jesus gave to His disciples about the life they would live as His followers? It would be a life following the same steps He took while upon the earth. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household (Matthew 10:24-25). As was Jesus so shall we be and that must be settled in our minds each day.
In today’s scripture, the Psalmist is lamenting over hard circumstances in his life. He defends his faith and commitment to the Lord, yet he contributes, rightly so, that the Lord has brought him into these difficult situations – yet you have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death. Though the pain is real in the heart of the Psalmist, he knows the suffering is good and for good purposes. His shift goes from self to the Lord who has brought these circumstances into his life – Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. And it is that statement that brings us to our identification with Christ in our suffering – He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth (Isaiah 53:7). The language in the Isaiah and Psalm passages are the same theme – applied to us and the Lord Jesus affirming the truth, “as was Jesus so shall we be.”
Friends, when God places us in the fiery furnace of affliction, there are two things to remember and cling to; first, the promise of His Presence. In the book of Daniel, chapter 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abenego were cast into the fire, and yet, there were four people in the flame – the Lord Himself was there. As with them, He will be with us in our furnaces.
The second thing to remember about suffering is that Jesus suffered first. When affliction comes, strive to focus on Christ’s affliction for us instead of the affliction that is upon us. It will help us not only identify with Christ in His suffering but give us the proper perspective and response to our own in speech, conduct, and attitude that pleases the Lord. It is and will be true, as was Jesus so shall we be.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see my life will be patterned after the life Your Son walked on earth.”
QUOTE: “As Jesus was treated in the world, in some measure, we will also know His suffering.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,