Journal Entry ~ 07/19/19

1 "Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth"- let Israel now say- 
2 "Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me.  - Psalm 129:1-2

From the very first words, you can feel the pain of the psalmist in Psalm 129. “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth” is not just annoyance or the kind of hurt you can brush off and get over easily. ‘Greatly’ indicates this is a deep wound that was created in childhood. The wound is so deep that he mentions the furrows that have been dug in his back in the very next verse. 

But here’s the thing we have to see when we read these verses - he is not defeated in his pain. “Yet they have not prevailed against me.” He perseveres. We can suffer pain without suffering defeat. We sometimes think if we’re hurting, we’re going to be defeated. But that’s just not true. You can be down but not out. You can persevere through the pain.

My husband and I had a conversation with my son recently about all that he has endured in his short life. He’s been through more difficult days in his 21 years than some adults have been through in twice as many decades. In our conversation, I had admired him for his courage. He chuckled at me in response, claiming if I knew what was going on in his head, I wouldn’t think he was so brave. He lives in fear of his future most days, and the anxiety often paralyzes him. But I reminded him the fear hasn’t taken over. He hasn’t been defeated by it. He continues to get up every day and face the pain of what he is enduring. That’s courage. Courageous people don’t live without fear, courageous people press on into the pain despite the fear. They persevere when it’s hard.

One of the most encouraging verses for me when I’m struggling to persevere comes from 2 Corinthians: 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. - 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

You will suffer pain in this life, but you will survive because you carry in you the death of Jesus. He will give you the strength to persevere every single time. You will not be defeated by your pain. Why? Because God protects you.  The LORD is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked.  - Psalm 129:4. God has set a limit for your suffering, your pain is temporary, and the wicked will not always rule over the righteous. He will eventually cut the cords of the wicked. We can persevere because God is faithful to stop the pain when it has become too much. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗


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