3Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.
(Psalm 123:3-4, King James Version)
We all like to be liked, do we not? As a matter of fact, sometimes it is hard to be different--to always be at odds with the popular opinions of the day. For the believer, however, to be true to the teachings of God's Word, often being different becomes the norm.
The Psalmist certainly felt the contempt manifested in the pride and arrogance of the people. Pride, however, has no place in the heart of the Christian. Jesus, the Son of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords did not manifest pride and arrogance. He, who was above all, came to this earth with the heart of a servant, ready to do His Father's will. How, then, can we expect to do less?
That is not, however, the way of the world. We relish in our cocky heros and heroines--we love to see ourselves as being invincible. We can do anything if we try hard enough, right?
Is that the way it really is in life? Do we fail because we just do not try hard enough? Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes observed,
"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill." (Ecclesiastes 9:11, King James Version)
What, then, is the answer? The believer understands that our purpose in this life is to honor and glorify the Lord our God. When we do well, we understand that it is God who deserves the praise. It is He who has made us, given us the abilities we have, and used them through the circumstances of this life to bring honor and glory to His name. Where, then, is there any room for pride?
No wonder the world holds Christians in contempt! Our very foundations are laid upon a base that they do not understand. They wonder, how can we bring more honor by being humble? In their view, humility is a weakness, not a strength.
It is good for us to read God's Word and understand that God's people who have gone before us--even thousands of years before us--have faced the same discouragements and temptations that we face today. Yet, as they found their strength in the Lord, so must we. As we face a new year, let us resolve that, by the grace of God, we will remain faithful to His Word and His principles, even though they are disdained and scorned by the people of this world.
This world is not our home, but, like Abraham, we look for a city whose builder and maker is God!
9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:9-10, King James Version)
God Bless You,