“I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. 26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. 27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. 28 My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” Psalm 119:25-28
While doing my morning Bible time, I was to read Psalm 119. This chapter is the longest in the Bible. It contains 176 verses and 2542 words. Compared to Psalm 117 that only has two verses, reading the long Psalm can take some endurance and a good cup of coffee. On this particular morning, I decided to listen to it while I read along. I do this every once in a while, to change things up in my comprehension and meditation of scripture. Often when I do this, I hear a phrase that may be repeated or a word that perks my interest to study. It has always helped me to understand and apply God’s Word to my life. Psalm 119 did not disappoint. While listening, I continued to hear the phrase, “according to your word”.
This summer has been a challenge for our household. We have been on a long journey that started in the winter. In fact, on this journey with my wife’s health, I would say the summer and its many trips to the doctor brought even more disappointment and exhaustion. So much that we did something that we had never had to do before in our ministry. We with the blessing of our church family took a two-week medical leave to help keep our feet underneath us. The season we are walking through is certainly one of endurance and dependance on God’s strength every day.
This is why Psalm 119 and, “according to your word” spoke so clearly to me. It is what my tired soul needed to hear. It was instruction from the Lord on how to pray and simply how to stand in faith. The healing is ours according to His word! Look at the Psalmist in this Psalm. He is laid low in the dust. You cannot get any lower unless you are 6 feet under. He is seeking understanding of God’s word in the midst of the enduring trial and meditating on the Law. Though his soul is weary his prayer is for God to strengthen him according to His word. This is exactly what we need when enduring seasons are upon us. Lean on God’s word and trust that it will manifest what we need when we need it.
Mary, the mother of Jesus started her journey of faith with these powerful words. “...be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38 KJV) Faced with the impossible assignment of becoming pregnant while still a virgin, overcoming certain humiliation and daunted by the task of raising Jesus who would save the world, she put her faith and trust in the very words of God Himself. God if you said it, it will be done. The psalmist agreed. Though he was in the dirt, he could be made strong in his journey because God said so!
Bill Johnson said something that really impacted me and my family during our season of endurance and trust. “Enduring faith brings answers with character.” Oh, how my character is being developed, but also God’s character is being revealed to my wife and I. Faith is growing just like God said it would when we began 2021. He spoke to me at the end of 2020 and said I am going to grow strong faith in you and those who you lead. He spoke to my wife to stand on Exodus 14:14 when everything was going well. “The Lord will fight for you; you only need to stand still.” At the time of the message, we were not in need of endurance, strength, hope and healing, but God knew we would need it later. We believe we are growing in our faith, and God is fighting for us according to His word.
If you are in the season of endurance, take strength in knowing God’s word is there for you to lean on and trust in. You may feel like your faith is weak, maybe even nonexistent, but know this... the Bible is for us not just in the good times when things are good, but when we are lying in the dirt. Take the attitude of this Psalm and trust in God’s word over you.