Meditating on Psalm 119: 113-176.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.
116 Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live;
And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
117 Hold me up, and I shall be safe… (Ps. 119: 114, 116, 117)
Psalm 119 tells about the psalmist’s hope in the Word. Over and over, we read his cries to God for salvation and deliverance, and always, because he trusts in His Word. We have discussed in previous Psalm 119 posts how the Word works in a Christian’s life as guide, comfort, reminder, healing, power, channel of God’s presence, and salvation. But we may ask, especially those who are still searching for truth or are not yet established in it, “What, really, is the relevance of the Word in a man’s life?” I ask this to introduce a testimony of a brother in Christ who had found the answer to this. We may lightly use salvation to the extent that its profound power is diluted in the everyday mundane. But, salvation in the Word remains to be the true life- and freedom-giving source for mankind. The Word [is] God (John 1:1).
Many years ago, Bro. Junie and his wife planned for a business of their own. His wife was going to receive a big sum of money from their company where she was working as a manager. It was her retrenchment pay. Around the same time, Bro. Junie also sold two condo units as a real estate agent and received huge commissions which he handed to his wife. They were going to set up their own business. Their only child and daughter was graduating from college. They had bright hopes for the future.
The day the wife would receive her payoff, she told her husband that she was going straight to the pier to send some money to her father in the province. Night came but Bro. Junie’s wife didn’t return. The next morning, he set out to look for her. Everywhere. She didn’t find her but received news that her wife ran away with another man. Bro. Junie couldn’t find them no matter how much he tried. He was utterly devastated.
A few weeks later, her only daughter who was expected to be graduating from college, also eloped with her boyfriend. Bro. Junie was left alone with his shattered heart and life and indescribable wrath. It seemed to him that heaven and earth converged to crush him in-between with no hope of ever rising again.
He bought a gun and vowed to search for his wife and her paramour to the ends of hell and kill them both. He was burning with revenge. To say that he didn’t have peace would be a sheer understatement. He threatened his neighbors that he would kill everyone of them if he ever learned that they were gossiping about him.
Can you imagine Bro. Junie’s anguish? Not only his shattered heart and life, but the total absence of peace and the burning hatred which was driving him crazy and be really lost? It’s a hellish life.
One night, he opened the TV and it was the program of JESUS MIRACLE CRUSADE INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY. He stayed rooted in his seat and when the Gospel of salvation was preached, tears were streaming down his face. He was at once flooded with an indescribable peace replacing the great hatred that he had in his heart. He searched for the JMCIM Church and when he found it, he sank to his knees and begged God to help him. He received the Lord Jesus Christ and salvation with all his being.
123 My eyes fail from seeking Your salvation
And Your righteous word.
124 Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy…
146 I cry out to You;
Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.
147 I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word. (vv. 123, 124, 146, 147)
Soon, he found his daughter who was already pregnant. He arranged his daughter’s marriage and brought her and her husband to the Church. And they, too, were saved. Bro. Junie became a happy grandfather.
He continued to search for his wife with an offering of complete forgiveness in his hands. He searched and prayed. But in the end, the wife refused to return to him. Bro. Junie had to accept it peacefully. He was strong in the Lord.
141 I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.
143 Trouble and anguish have overtaken me,
Yet Your commandments are my delights. (vv. 141, 143)
He and his daughter’s family continue to serve the Lord faithfully to this day.
129 Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple. (vv. 129-130, emphasis mine)
Friend, if doubts, uncertainties, and cynicism have stopped you from totally embracing the Lord Jesus Christ and His Truth (His Word and Gospel of peace), may this bring you nearer to Him (if you had not already run to His waiting arms). The Lord loves you so! Know this.
(Photo courtesy of my cousin Bill Raras of Vancouver, Canada. and edited at picmonkey.com).
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