"Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage." Psalm 84:5
This is one of my favorite Scriptures! Pilgrimage is loosely translated, "a journey to a holy place". I love the mental picture we are given here; the picture of someone whose heart is set on a journey to a holy place. The idea of our lives being of infinitely more value, than just the day to day mundane tasks that can ensue us, is invigorating.
Just knowing, that our value does not lie within our works, or our accomplishments-- but rather, our worth is seen through the veil of Jesus Christ, which covers us, is such great assurance and encouragement! God sees us as vessels that are journeying through this life, fighting and battling; and that He has purchased, through the blood of His perfect Son.
But this verse also makes me ask myself, if my heart is set on pilgrimage?
Do I really want a life, that is wandering from place to place, solely for the sake of advancing God's Kingdom? Do I earnestly desire, to fight every single, solitary day, for the remainder of my days, for this Kingdom, sometimes feeling so weary and despondent, that I cannot make another move?
In other words..... am I willing to suffer?
Am I willing to suffer all for the cause of Jesus Christ? Am I willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING, for the sake of His Gospel? Am I willing to live a life that others would deem sad and pitiful, merely because I love Him so much?
Am I willing?
Now, around forty-five minutes ago, you could have asked me that question, and I would have given you a hearty and resounding NO! I would have said, it is too hard, I can't take that much pain! I can't take the suffering, the seeming oppression, the chaos and the hurt.
But then this verse comes to my heart....I hear these words from my beautiful Savior and I think, bring it on! Pour out the fiery persecution! I can take it, because the difficulties I deal with, are nothing in comparison to what Christ has suffered on my behalf! He knows what I go through, and even more! Suffering, because I possess the name of Jesus, might be hard, but the end result makes it one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things to deal with! This life is so fleeting; dealing with a temporary sting, for an eternal glory brings so much joy and peace to my weeping soul, that my mourning is turned to joy in the blink of an eye!
When I attempt to fathom the love that God has bestowed upon my soul, I feel overwhelmed. Trying to grasp what took place at the moment of my redemption, makes me feel so unworthy. But nothing brings more comfort, than understanding the healing balm of grace! The grace of Almighty God is a powerful thing. We cannot understand why God chooses to give it to us, but we can understand how it affects us! We can know, that His grace is sufficient and covers all of our infirmities and imperfections. That His guiding Hand, is the only Light that I journey toward.
So now comes the major difficulty....are we going to sit around in our unfortunate circumstances, and allow the enemy to plunder our joy and replace it with despair; or are we going to arise and fight?! Are we going to allow ourselves to drown in depression; or are we going to say, blasted be the spirit of hopelessness?! God is mighty! What on earth have we to fear? What have we to lose? Nothing. If we die, it is all to God's glory. If we suffer horrible persecution, it is all to God's glory. What more can we ask for? What else could we possibly want than to bring Him glory?
In every circumstance, we really need to be searching out the ways we can put off our sin and pride. Making it a life purpose to convey Christ to the world isn't easy, and it is certainly not for those who desire to cling to their sin or their selfishness. Even though we will always have sin, we should hate it and be endeavoring to put it off. Denying our flesh and defeating carnality, is a life long process--but it is a process that is fully rewarding!
Whether it be in our darkest hours, or the peak of our rejoicing, let us constantly seek God's face!
"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;...Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:7-8 & 12b-14