08.08.12 - True honor during persecution

Please begin with prayer for an open heart, before you read the passage below. Psalm 62:5-8 - Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God[a]; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah

A few years ago, my wife’s grandmother gave me a chronological Bible that one scholar took the whole of Scripture and arranged it chronologically to the best of his ability.  (NOTE---it’s not in chronological order as we have it!!)  This has been such a helpful tool over the years and it’s been particularly helpful with the Psalms.  In understanding Scripture, it is so helpful to have an understanding of the context it was written in.  In reading the Psalms, the Psalmist can appear schizophrenic in flipping between trust, fear, sadness, joy, etc., but each of these Psalms is written in response to something going on in King David’s life (a few are written by someone else).  We don’t know for sure, but Psalm 62 is linked to 2 Samuel 15, where David is fleeing from Absalom in one of the many attempts to overthrow David from the throne.  Murder was a popular was of overthrowing someone!

In these moments is when David responds through song/prayer in the Psalms.  In the midst of the chaos, persecution, and stress he writes that God is his rock and salvation---his honor depends on God---his soul finds rest in God alone---God is our refuge!  In those moments, it would be easy to take your eyes off God and worry about your life, but David is resolute and knows where his hope truly comes from. 

Verse 7 stuck out to me today---My salvation and my honor depend on God.  Chances are, we will not face persecution like the disciples in Matthew 10 or be hunted down like King David was in 2 Samuel 15, but our honor is something we can relate to, mainly socially.  One definition of honor is---a source of credit or distinction.  If our faith in Jesus Christ is the only source for true honor in this world, we will live a certain way.  If our bank accounts, physique, possessions, spouse, children, job title, etc. are our main source of honor, we will also live a certain way.  When those become threatened, our world can crumble because those are where our self-worth comes from. 

The journey of sharing our faith can really test where our honor comes from and when the source of our honor is misplaced; chances are we will not persevere through pressure.  Matthew 10:28---Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  When our source of honor is not on God, we become consumed with things the world deems as important.  We are called to find rest in God alone and have our hope come from Him---alone.  We throw down the other gods that give us honor, because they are not trustworthy.  We stand firmly on the rock that is Jesus Christ and take heart in His promises and not the empty lies of the world.  Trust in Him at all times, because He is our refuge!  I pray we find hope in Him through the daily battles of being a Christ follower in a world opposed to Him and that we can stand on His promises and the fulfillment of those promises by His death and resurrection.

What are sources of honor in your life that are not God?  Have those been challenged when sharing your faith or when people find out that you are a Christian?  Describe the tension in that moment and the possible split loyalty between God and other sources of honor.