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Singing Psalm 41 to rise above attacks against soul and body

Singing Psalm 41 to rise above deceptive attacks

Is there ever a more fitting time to rise above than when you find out that someone you trusted wasn’t upfront with you but two-faced? Loyal to your face. A gossip behind your back?

“And when he comes to visit me    His words are all deceit;He gathers evil in his heart,    And tells it in the street.” ~ Psalm 41:6

You might say that the Keilahites were these kind of fairweather friends to David. When he saved them from the attacks of the Philistines, he received a warm welcome from them. Upon inquiring of the Lord, David learned that they would turn on him and surrender him to Saul who had quickly summoned all the people to go to war against Keilah as he was frantically determined to kill David.

You think you trust the words you hear. Next thing you know, someone calls to verify false information that someone else has been spreading about you either to protect themselves as in the case of the Keilahites, or to make themselves look better than you as in the case of Saul.

When the opinions of others threaten to pull your affection away from God and onto them, it is time to assess what you desire and love most. The Lord will guide, guard, and rescue you back to him when you least deserve it.

Peter asked Jesus why he couldn’t follow him to where he was going as he thought that he would lay down his life for Jesus. Peter must have been shocked and confused to hear Jesus say that he would deny him three times that very evening. When it came to pass that what a servant girl thought of him outweighed his love for Jesus, Peter wept bitterly as his self-perception of being a loyal friend to Jesus was shattered before his eyes. Peter could hardly bear it, but Jesus knew all along that he would forgive Peter and restore him. This was not the case of a planned deception. Rather, it was fear that exposed a lack of depth in his love for Jesus at that point in time. His love undoubtedly grew to the point where Peter would rise above deceptive attacks daily and increasingly such that he would ultimately lay down his life for Jesus.

This is why to know him is to love him: Jesus said, “In my Father‘s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)

If Jesus said it, it’s as good as done. You rise above every attack when you truly know from the inside out that he is the Lord.

If Jesus laid down his life only to take it up again, it stands to reason that his followers will, with the help, guidance, and counsel of the Holy Spirit, rise above and do the same. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” ~ Colossians 3:1-2

Figuring out who you are going to trust is the crux of life on earth that, once settled, determines life evermore.

Thank you, Lord, for helping your people to rise above our self-perceptions, to think more of you and less of ourselves.

“Now, as for me, I said, “O LORD,

    Have mercy on my soul.

Because against You I have sinned,

    Restore and make me whole.“ ~ Psalm 41:4

Singing Psalm 41 to rise above cellular attacks

“The LORD sustains him on his bed

    Of sickness and of pain.” ~ Psalm 41:3a

How can you rise above pain — unwelcome with an acute illness and especially so with a chronic condition?

The grace and presence of God with you in the moment is sufficient for you to bear up under physical or mental pain that has bodily components that contribute as hormones and neurotransmitters factor in on the cellular level to disturb and discourage you profoundly. The Lord has power to make you rise above when your body screams “NO MORE” or when your relationships shrivel like winter leaves on the ground. He will enable you to be faithful to him through every trial, perfecting his strength as he upholds you in your weakness. “…we shall all be changed…in the twinkling of an eye…” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

O Lord, would you give your people supernatural vision to see our pain as light and momentary, achieving for us an eternal weight of glory that makes the suffering here of no comparison?

And from his bed You make him rise;

    He will his health regain.” ~ Psalm 41:3b

Singing Psalm 41 to rise above relational attacks

In the latter part of John 10, John records how Jesus was attacked for being God. The religious leaders played right into the enemy’s hands when they hardened their hearts not believing even Jesus’ works which confirmed that he and the Father are one.

Singing Psalm 41 prompts you to think how the Lord will be gracious and merciful to make you strong. How will he move you to repay your enemy, the devil, who prompts and triggers doubt, insensitivity, and self-consumption whenever they arise within?

What gets your enemy’s goat most of all is when God’s people remain faithful to him and love him and one another even when they are going through suffering and trials.

“My foes do not against me lift    A cry of victory;Because of this I am assured    That you are pleased with me.” ~ Psalm 41:11

Lord, would you help your people to come to Jesus and remain faithful to you and to one another no matter what the enemy throws at us? Would you please help us to rise above and repay our enemy for his wrongs that continually threaten to undo our affection and dull our consciences toward you and toward our neighbor?

“The ramifications of a seared conscience are not only vertical, you and God, but also horizontal, you and other image bearers of God. Even here, your tenderness for the love, concern and compassion for others around you begin to be misshapen. Your friendships no longer reflect authentic love that hopes to see others through the eyes of Christ’s love. Honest relationships are to include a receiving of embrace and rebuke. Instead, our relationship reflects a shallower self-serving quality. They become more felt needs-based. Does this make me happy? Am I getting what I want from this person? How do they affirm me and my decisions and desires? Relationships become more disposable than life-shaping.” ~ Brad Somers

You rise above when attacked in relationships when you can gratefully receive compassion as well as take a rebuke like a kiss on the lips. Is your gratitude evident such that the Lord takes notice and would ask you as he did the one leper who came back to return thanks, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” ~ Luke 17:17-19

Saying “thank you” — minding your manners — is one thing. Being grateful with integrity is something else entirely. Jesus was pleased to come for you so that you would know both in your mind and in your walk that the Lord is God. Gratitude is faith you express from the heart. Knowing that Jesus is Lord, you rise above the superficial and make meaning with God and neighbor.

“But as for me, You hold me up

    In my integrity;

And in Your presence evermore

    My dwelling place shall be.

The LORD, the God of Israel,

    Be blessed and blessed again

From age to everlasting age.

    Amen, and yes, Amen.” ~ Psalm 41:12-13

November 3 – 10, 2023


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