Words from the Heart for Sunday April 23rd, 2017
For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
Psalm 32:7 (NLT)
You Are My Hiding Place
Let the song ring out! The Lord has been faithful to be our hiding place. We have been protected from trouble. Some would say that faith in God is only for the weak. We are not ashamed to need the Lord. We have traded our trouble for His victory.
Mikhail Lennikov hid inside a Vancouver church from 2009 until 2015 when he voluntarily left, accompanied by members of the Canadian Border Services Agency. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, Lennikov had been a KGB agent. In 1988 when he was dismissed from the agency. He left for Japan and in 1997 arrived at the University of British Columbia. Once here in Canada, he applied for permanent residency in Canada but was rejected because of his KGB past. He fought his deportation until the Federal Court ordered him out of the country. Before he could be deported, however, he entered the First Lutheran Church where he stayed for six years. He told authorities that he was afraid to go back to Russia. He was concerned he would be arrested because he had revealed the names of KGB agents.
During the First World War, soldiers on both sides of the conflict hid in trenches. They were muddy, disease filled, rat infested, stinking ditches that were not filled with great joy. Victory was a long way from assured and life was not filled with joy. They might have been hiding places, but with the enemy not far away, they were merely temporary places of existence. For the follower of Jesus, involved in the spiritual warfare of everyday life, things are much different. While we are in the trenches of our battle against darkness and sin, where the Lord is hiding us are places of joy and victory, even though the battle rages. David writes this in Psalm 32:7: “For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.” David’s life was a challenge. Except for a couple of instances, David’s walk with the Lord was consistent and praiseworthy. But that faithfulness didn’t mean that he was exempt from the challenges of life. He faced opposition from his family, from authorities, and from his enemies. Through it all he learned that as he trusted in the Lord, God protected him. And he was so convinced of God’s ultimate victory that in the midst of the battle, the Lord gave him songs of victory. Only God’s people can say that! In the midst of the battles of life today, what songs of victory has the Lord given you?
These have been words from the heart.