Deep faith

by Rev Jason Phua

Readings: Hebrews 11:17-31; Psalm 59:1-17

READ (verses chosen for meditation)
Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”

REFLECT
We are told as a preface to Psalm 59 that this is “miktam” of David when Saul sent men to his house in order to kill him. We are not quite sure what “miktam” means but all the six Psalms with this word have certain characteristics. These six Psalms, as Charles Spurgeon puts it starts with “prayer, imply trouble, but abound in holy confidence and close with songs of assurance as to ultimate safety and joy”. Hence we read in Psalm 59 that David sang praises to the Lord in assurance of His steadfast love even in the midst of the possible lost of life. What a man of deep faith in God!

RELATE
Would I sing praises to God in the midst of the possible loss of life? Would i sing praises to God if the lives of my family members are threatened? I am not sure i will. I will definitely be praying for protection and His will be done, but sing praises to God? That is quite something altogether. That is the depth of faith which David had and for which he and the other heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 were commended for. Even if these persons were not able receive what was promised as in the ministry and work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 11:39), God commended them for their extraordinary faith. Through David and many other heroes of the faith, we see that they have a kind of faith which does not call out often to God for a more comfortable standard of living or whine at the most tiny worry; but faith that speaks much of their profound love for God even in the midst of very challenging circumstances. This is something which we, the very much self-entitled and self-consumed generation can learn from. May the Lord help us, people who are supposedly in a better Covenant, to grow in our understanding of what faith in Christ is really about.

REST
Lord our God, help my wandering soul to rest in You. Help me to grow in faith like how the ancients did, who were able to sing praises to you even in the most trying of circumstances. Amen.

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Day 323

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Thessalonians 2:3 -4
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Throughout history there have been individuals who were against everything Christ stood for. They persecuted the people of God and were hugely popular. These antichrists have been present at various points of history.

However, just before the End – we will encounter the Anti-Christ. Like those before him, he will stand against the teachings of Christ and His people. But this Anti-Christ will also mislead many and draw them (it says here quite clearly) to worship him instead of God.

This is a great clue for us, as to who he is and how we can identify him. He will encourage a turning away from God and towards the worship of himself as the Anti-Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

The Anti-Christ powered by satanic motivation, will even work counterfeit miracles and deceive the masses.

Knowing this, we as believers should keep a lookout for a person who may seem to be capable of feats beyond human capability, but seeks not to honor or glorify God but instead desires for others to worship him instead of God.

I tell my kids all the time – “Don’t follow a stranger if they say things like ‘Come your Daddy told me to pick you up.'”
I describe what such evil persons might say so that they would not be deceived.
I believe God wants us to know this too – so that we won’t go ‘home’ with the wrong person. Rather let us be watchful and wait for our Messiah faithfully – however long it may seem at times.

Father, help us to be aware and help us to be vigilant as we live out our days.
Help us to be rooted in the faith and with knowledge of Your Word, help us not be deceived when the Anti-Christ appears on the world stage.