At times the adversary’s fiery darts – his endless lies – can wear us down. But Jesus armed us with the antidote.
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart. (Luke 18:1)
The phrase “to lose heart” means “to be wearied out, exhausted.” Jesus taught that the antidote to getting worn out and exhausted is to pray. Prayer strengthens us against losing heart.
We Fear What Hasn’t Even Happened
After Christ raptures the Church, God’s wrath will come upon the earth – upon those who refused to believe the testimonies of the Christians who once lived among them. Jesus described these unbelievers, “men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:26).
Jesus declared that fear will cause them to faint. Fear will strike their hearts when they ponder “the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world.”
Fear is always a terror of the future, of what might happen. People only fear the possible future, not the past.
Why Believers Have Nothing To Fear
We can declare as David did, “My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me” (Psalms 31:15). When we know that our times are in God’s hand, how can we be afraid of anything that might happen? If we’re in God’s hand, He will not drop us! He will take care of us.
Psalm 31 is a beautiful prayer of trusting God, despite the evil we suffer from others. We can run to God in prayer and trust in Him. He will give us the strength we need – not only to endure but to thrive and rejoice in Him.
David laid his heart bare before the Lord in prayer. We can identify with his fears and weakness. And we can rely upon the Lord to strengthen us, just as He did for David. (I will close with this psalm that we can read and meditate upon, and continue tomorrow with how prayer strengthens us.)
Psalm 31:1-24 (NASB):
1 In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness deliver me.
2 Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me.
3 For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
4 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength.
5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.
6 I hate those who regard vain idols, But I trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul,
8 And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place.
9 ¶ Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, And my body has wasted away.
11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, Especially to my neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances; Those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the slander of many, Terror is on every side; While they took counsel together against me, They schemed to take away my life.
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your lovingkindness.
17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You; Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.
18 Let the lying lips be mute, Which speak arrogantly against the righteous With pride and contempt.
19 ¶ How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!
20 You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD, For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.
22 As for me, I said in my alarm, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried to You.
23 O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer.
24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.”