How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The LORD will deliver him in the day of trouble.
The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health.
I was meditating on this psalm and considering the goodness of the LORD, that He will deliver and sustain and restore His godly ones who are compassionate and consider the helpless. But as I was meditating on this, the LORD also reminded me of the trouble that comes to those who desire to live godly lives. The same LORD who here promises to restore and sustain in other places promises all His godly ones affliction and suffering. The true paradox, however, is that the LORD gives the blessing of affliction and suffering especially to those who bear them to His glory. Indeed, suffering comes to all men without regard to faith, but suffering for the name of the Lord Jesus is reserved for the faithful, for those chosen by the Lord for sanctified suffering. Think of the examples of Job, Joseph, Jeremiah, Paul, and the Lord Jesus Himself. All suffered to the glory of God, but the mystery of Jesus is that God Himself suffered in the flesh. Is not one of the greatest privileges of being a Christian the joy of sharing in “the fellowship of Jesus’ sufferings?” (Phil. 3:10)
But there is a privilege beyond suffering for the Lord, and that is the honor of being persecuted for the name of the Lord (Matthew 5:10-12; 2 Timothy 3:12). For suffering comes on all men, but persecution must be earned and it is given by the enemies of the Lord. Persecution is allowed by the Lord to come upon only those who have been so bold and vocal in their proclamation of Jesus Christ that the enemies of the Lord have to do something to stop them or to silence them. Are you so bold that the enemies of Christ are compelled to silence you? Do you have it as your aim to be so dangerous to the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ that persecution is a likely consequence? This is the boldness that we need in this age of wickedness and compromise. Be bold and be dangerous, for the Lord has promised to sustain and restore His godly ones and to give them the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). SDG rmb 1/28/2016