I was still feeling hurt and sad over the elections last week when I wrote Sundays with Cindy “A Broken Heart.” I was pretty out-spoken, and I even got several “Atta girl!” comments from different ones, including my mother! I had barely published it, though, when the Lord began working in my heart, and as a follow-up to last week’s blog, I would like to share with you the soothing balm our Great Physician has laid upon my heart.
I looked up at the screen Sunday night at church as the pastor began the service by reading Psalm 92:
1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:
2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.
4 For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.
5 O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.
6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.
7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
8 But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore.
9 For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.
12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
I was reminded in this passage of a question David asked over and over again in the Psalms—“Why do the wicked flourish and the righteous have to suffer under them?” And then I remembered God’s answer each time to David—“Wait! The wicked will be judged and destroyed in the end, and the righteous will flourish forevermore!”
Something else I noticed in this passage—It began with an admonishment to give thanks and praise to God always, regardless of our circumstances. Give thanks for His lovingkindness and faithfulness; for His works, His wisdom and His will. He has it all under control. Looking back on the past we have seen without fail these qualities in Him, and that ought to strengthen our faith that He has our future—and the future of the wicked—all worked out, as well.
Psalm 37:7-13 says it even more clearly: “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.” In other words, “Don’t worry. Don’t be angry. Be patient. Be peaceful. God laughs at the foolish arrogance of those who do evil, for their day of judgment and destruction is coming.”
Balm for my hurting heart—“Put this aside, Cindy. I’ve got this in my control and you needn’t worry about it anymore.” But then the Lord added one more ingredient to that soothing ointment as I reflected upon these things through the week. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:1-4)
Pray for those in authority over us. What would happen, I wondered, if every time I found myself becoming angry (even if it is righteous anger!) or fearful at some ridiculous, wasteful, unlawful, immoral, dishonest, oppressive, or tyrannical ruling that came down from this administration—what would happen if I prayed for the President and his cohorts instead? Could I even do it? So much has made me upset and even furious about what has happened to our country over the last four years and what appears will happen throughout the next four, that I wonder if there is any hope for this administration at all. And yet, God specifically spells it out right here—we are to fervently pray for those in authority over us and not only that, to give thanks for them! Aaack! Is there hope that they might turn from their wicked ways if we pray—that they might even be saved? God alone knows that, but whether or not we have any hope for it, we are to pray.
I believe it is not only for their benefit that we are to pray for them, but it is also for our own heart-health, as well. Prayer is a soothing balm to us at all times, but when we pray with a genuine concern for those who have hurt us, it heals those hurts and helps us to love the one for whom we are praying. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…” It was disconcerting and hurtful when I heard our president refer to those who disagree with his philosophies and policies, and those of the opposite party as his “enemies.” It was my understanding that he swore to be the president of all Americans, not just those who agreed with him on everything. I thought the enemies of our nation were Al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea—not his fellow Americans. I would never have referred to him as my enemy—however if I am being honest with myself, in my thoughts that is just what he had become.
However we think of him—as one who is in authority over us, or even as our enemy—God has it covered in His mandate to us. We are to pray for, love and bless our president. Whether or not it changes him, it will change and heal us.
Now, to put that into practice…