The best man in the world holds his integrity (position, honour) no longer than God upholds him in it. The best man in the world can only maintain his position and honour as long as God keeps him in it for by His grace, we are what we are. The best man in the world can only maintain his position and honour by His grace. If we were to be left to ourselves, we would fall and our enemies would triumph over us. I mean, if God withdraws His support from us, we would fall and our enemies would laugh at us. In the midst of trials and evil wishes of the enemy, King David prayed to God not to allow his enemy to triumph over him (Psalm 41:11).
God knows that we are naturally weak and fearful when we are faced with danger/ trials/ persecution or an adversary who seems stronger than we are. We, on our part, should learn to trust in God’s help so that those whose primary interest is to make us feel ashamed, will themselves be ashamed. Such was the case of King David as he wrote Psalm 40.
At certain periods in life, we find ourselves being unduly hated and persecuted because of the grace of God in our lives, especially when they cannot figure out the root/ foundation of our integrity. They begin to ask questions and query the legitimacy/ genuineness of our spiritual experience. Anything in our lives that tends to defy the logic of people’s imagination is therefore to be highly resisted and fought to a standstill. I mean, new things always suffer uncommon persecution. When they fail in achieving their aims, they call you names in order to down-grade your integrity and honour in the eyes of people. Jesus never begged anyone to believe in Him. He knew that integrity cannot be proven; it must be discerned.
Integrity is not something we can prove by outward beauty and prestige alone. God does not judge as people do. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Our enemies/ people may try to strip us of outward prestige and beauty but the wisdom and grace of God cannot be taken from us. They may call you names in order to paint you black in the eyes of people but the wisdom and the grace of God cannot be taken from you because it is not given by man. They were able to take Joseph’s coat of many colours which was given to him by his father; they were able to separate him from the warm arms of his parents but were unable to separate him from the presence of God.
When you find yourself in such situations as a child of God, do not lose heart. God sometimes allows His children to experience persecution in order to toughen (strengthen) them for the greater heights ahead and the challenges that follow.
David thanked God for not allowing his enemies to triumph over him. Remember, you cannot be said to be triumphant/ victorious without fighting and winning a war. Triumph or victory is a product of warfare. In other words, he who desires triumph/ victory must be ready to embrace war.
So when you are persecuted by your enemies for what you believe in/ when you are facing trials for Christ’s sake, count it all joy that your chance (opportunity) for victory is at hand. The Bible strongly advises all true Christians to cultivate (develop) the habit of finding reasons to rejoice in the Lord, especially in the face of adversity (Isaiah 41:16).
In my own case, persecution has always been a tonic to my anointing. The more the persecution we receive, the greater the opportunity we have to move closer to God for strength and renewal, knowing that if gold must be gold, it must pass through fire. If a clay pot is to be strong, it must go through intense heat. As gold is tested by fire, so also human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation.
Glory be to God, the more we are persecuted, the more we attract God’s attention and commitment. The extent of His care and the strength of His might in our lives weaken and frustrate our adversaries. When God gives you strength, He also sees you through any obstacle.
Whenever I am persecuted, I am quick to remember the story of Jephthah. He was an example of the rise of a man to prominence from rejection (Judges 11). He was persecuted and denied the right to belong. God often humbles those whom He designs to exalt and makes them the stone the builders reject which finally becomes the head of the cornerstone. Joseph, Moses and David – the three most prominent shepherds of Israel, were all rejected and persecuted by men before they were called of God to great offices. This is how God prepares His servants for the service He designs them for and makes their trouble work for their advancement.
If Jephthah had not been so persecuted and rejected by his unkind brothers, he would not have had such opportunity to develop and improve his military experience that finally saw him to the throne. The Bible says, having been rejected by men, Jephthah drew from God’s resources all that he needed to stand future challenges. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him and advanced his natural faculties and filled him with power from on high. Thus God confirmed him in his office in the presence of his enemies. God gave him an excellent spirit and bravery to face the challenge and his triumph, his victory was clear. Nothing was too dear for him to acknowledge God for not allowing his enemy to triumph over him.
People of God, nothing is too dear to acknowledge God for not allowing our enemies to triumph over us. We are not in any way suggesting that we have arrived. Far be it. This is our humble way of thanking God for not allowing our enemies to triumph over us. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so they persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:10-11).
May God bless His holy Word, in Jesus’ name.