(This reading is based on Psalm 118 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs)
"The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death." Psalm 118: 18
There's a Jamaican proverb that says in effect, "Do not call a man a ghost if he's not dead." The spirit of this proverb does capture the essence of what the Psalmist is here talking about - things may really get bad, but "where there's life, there's hope." Jesus however takes this idea beyond the hope of not dying where He declares, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell," (Matt. 10: 28). Of He (Himself) "who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell," He says, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, though he should die, yet shall he live." John 11: 25. So even in death the Lord is merciful and I'm no ghost. Praise the Lord!
So the Christian's attitude is hinged on the knowledge that things could always be worse, because were we to be treated as we deserved... we'd all be dead without a thread of hope. So indeed, "It is of the Lord's mercies that we're not consumed." Lam. 3: 22.
The Apostle Paul whose life was not short on troubles of every kind maintained a steely resolve and an undaunted spirit, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." 2 Cor. 4: 8, 9. Hallelujah!
Father in Heaven, thank You for the hope that we have in You; that even in the face of the worse thing that Satan can throw at us, with You, "we are more than conquerors," (Rom. 8: 37). Thank You for Your mercies - they are indeed "new every morning." Amen.
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