If you have ever had the razor sharp edge of your enemies come against you, then you know what it is like to face battle. In the middle of the battle, you and I have a choice to make.
The enemy, the devil, the evil spirit that we battle against, is always on the warpath. He does his best to get the people of God…YOU…off track, and out of place.
The weapons and tactics of the devil range from discouragement, to accusation, to emotional distress, to physical attack.
You would think that the people of God would be constantly downcast and unable to fight, because of the constant onslaught, but that’s not the case.
We have a choice.
We have something to look forward to, and someone we can trust.
Believers know that God is on the throne and even in the worst of times, he is a bedrock, a foundation, and a cornerstone for those who place their trust in him.
We are tenacious in our faith, because God is tenacious towards us.
That means we are not easily pulled apart. We tend to adhere and cling and STICK to our faith in God. We are persistent to maintain our position.
We don’t quit easily.
We don’t give up.
We don’t stand down.
The fact of the matter is, God will never leave you nor will he forsake you. There is a reason to trust in Jesus. Why? Because he has never gone back on his word, and he won’t start now.
God has victory for you NOW.
God has a plan for you NOW.
God has a way for you NOW.
God has the resource for you NOW.
You have to look to him and trust him, and we must understand that the plan of God in our life takes time, but no matter what, God will come through.
The enemy of your soul wants you to get your eyes off the ONE that has everything under control. Satan will seek to fill your mind with chaos and noise in order to keep you in a place of isolation…but don’t give up.
God is still where he was, he hasn’t left you, he is still in control, and you CAN overcome.
There is a Psalm that speaks to what we face in our day to day life. This Psalm speaks of our choice…
When I say what I’m about to say, many of you will already know the verse in scripture that we are going to make our way towards.
Here it is…
Whatever you find in your “today,” it is still a day that God has made. He didn’t make the problems or the trials that you face.
The Lord didn’t create the harsh climate of attack that you’re under. Jesus didn’t place you in the precarious position you now find yourself in…but he did make the day.
With this being said, let’s jump into God’s Word.
Psalm 118:1–24 NLTse
1Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2 Let all Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
3 Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
4Let all who fear the Lord repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
Nearly every prayer we pray could be changed to a prayer of thankfulness. Why? Because in God’s goodness, he has provided everything…and I mean everything that we will ever need for life and for Godliness.
The promises of God contained in Jesus Christ are already “yes” and “amen.”
We are not waiting on the promises of God to “get approved” in our life. They are already approved, ratified, and available to us in Jesus’ name.
We don’t need to spend our time looking for the provision of God, but instead we willingly and happily give thanks for what God has already given and we begin to appropriate it into our life.
Give thanks to the Lord because the promises of God are already yours for the asking and the taking. Just begin, by faith, to appropriate what the Lord has provided.
Take your stand.
Take your ground.
Take your victory.
God’s faithful love will keep you.
God’s goodness will sustain you.
God’s power will last forever.
5In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free.
Even in the distress you may be facing today, God has an answer if you will only seek him.
He has the answer that you need.
6 The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
7 Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me.
When your “day” consists of battle, and warfare, you can know deep inside that the Lord is for you. Just as the writer of this Psalm declares, “He will help me,” so you can declare it.
God is your helper.
There is no problem so big, no mountain so high, no distress so overwhelming that the Lord cannot help you.
Jesus is an ever present HELP in TIME OF TROUBLE.
Declare it now: “The Lord is for ME.”
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
10 Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord.
God has given YOU that same authority.
Jesus says these words in the book of Luke as he sends out his disciples to minister: Luke 10:19- Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
You and I have extreme authority over…OVER…the things of the devil that come against us.
Authority means – Power to rule, supernatural power, the right to judge, jurisdiction.
I like that last word, “jurisdiction.” Here’s why…because it means that you have a sphere of authority that follows you and surrounds you everywhere you go.
You have the jurisdiction to take out the devil no matter where you are.
11 Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord.
12 They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord.
13 My enemies did their best to kill me, but the Lord rescued me.
Jesus always rescues. In fact, salvation itself is an ongoing rescue from the darkness, and from our sin.
God loves to rescue his people, and if you find yourself in a position of worry, God will come to your rescue with power and strength.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.
15Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!
Listen, you and I have a choice to make. We have a choice about WHO we are going to BE and HOW we are going to RESPOND.
We have a choice about which “songs” we are going to sing in our “camp.” You can choose defeat, and pessimistic thinking, or you can choose to take up your authority and appropriate the blessings of the Lord in your life and sing songs of joy and victory in your camp.
16 The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!
Now, listen to the words of faith that the Psalmist says next, because they are powerful words…
17I will not die; INSTEAD, I will live to tell what the Lord has done.
Let me ask you a question: What is the declaration out of your mouth saying to your situation?
The writer of this Psalm makes a bold declaration in the face of adversity.
Up to this point, he has described difficulty and battle. The Psalmist has spoken of how the enemy surrounded his life, but in one short sentence he makes a bold and faith filled declaration: I will not die; INSTEAD, I will live to tell what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not let me die.
19 Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the Lord.
20 These gates lead to the presence of the Lord, and the godly enter there.
The presence of the Lord is where you and I need to get to in the time of trouble. It is found in the atmosphere of prayer and thanksgiving. The presence of the Lord STILL inhabits the praises of his people.
If you want to get into the gates that lead to the presence of the Lord, make a choice to change your declaration from defeat to praise.
Change your declaration from death to LIFE.
Change your declaration from defeat to victory.
That is exactly what the writer of this passage does next…
21I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory!
22 The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
24This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Verse 24 holds an awesome, life-changing principle…and here it is:
I must make the choice to rejoice.
My response to the contents of my day is my spiritual act of courage.
You and I must make the choice to rejoice and in so doing respond courageously.
The writer recognizes that, whatever kind of “day” you find yourself in at the moment, it is a day that the Lord has made.
The Lord has labored and worked to make this “day” for you. In one real sense you could translate this verse by saying, “this is the day in which the Lord has ACTED.”
God acted in creating this day of your life. Whatever the contents of this day are, don’t allow the negative, discouraging, lying voice of the devil to control your day…the day that God created for you.
Make the choice to rejoice.
Rejoicing and praise go hand in hand. You cannot effectively praise the Lord without having the ability to rejoice IN SPITE OF your current circumstances.
Rarely do I rejoice because of my circumstance, but often do I rejoice IN SPITE of it.
When you rejoice IN SPITE of your circumstance, it is a bold, courageous act of worship that flies in the face of the enemy and all he is trying to do against you.
The word rejoice in this passage, literally means: to dance, or to go in a circle, and to leap for joy at the benefits bestowed by the Lord.
This is the day the Lord has made…I’m going to DANCE IN IT.
This is the day the Lord has made…I’m going to LEAP FOR JOY in it.
This is the day the Lord has made…I’m going to EXPRESS MY JOY in it.
Not only should we rejoice in spite of our circumstance, we should BE GLAD in it.
This doesn’t mean to be glad FOR IT, but IN IT. To be glad literally means to take up joy and happiness.
Being glad is a choice.
When studying for my license to minister, one of my instructors took this passage even further. He had us look at what the context of the verse was saying. Because in verse 22, the Bible speaks about the stone which the builders rejected.
The stone is Jesus.
Jesus was despised and rejected.
Jesus was wounded.
Jesus was the sacrifice bound to the altar.
Jesus was the one who was slain and took our place.
Even though the day that Jesus died seemed like a day of defeat, in actuality, it was a day of victory.
We could look at the day that Jesus died and boldly declare:
THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE. WE WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT.
I rejoice in the day that Jesus, the rejected cornerstone, took my place on the altar and became the CHIEF CORNERSTONE for my life.
I rejoice because today is the day the Lord has made.
The Bible says:
Zechariah 13:1 NKJV
1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.
Jesus is the fountain.
This is the day the Lord has made.
And no matter what you are facing today, it is the day of the Lord, given to you for the choice of rejoicing and declaring God’s mighty power OVER the power of your enemies.
Make the choice to rejoice.
Here are four other choices you and I need to make EACH DAY:
Being happy is making the choice to be glad. I don’t have to be happy about my situation, but by God’s grace I can be happy through it. Satan wants to steal your joy because the Bible clearly says, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Through joy, you are strong. So choose happiness.
Why? Because God has blessed you, he has helped you, he has died for you, he will rescue you.
Choose faith over fear.
Psalms 118 is clear, there is nothing that man can do to you. Plus, we already know that the devil is our defeated foe, and we have authority (jurisdiction) over him.
So choose to have faith and express it through your words of declaration.
Choose prayer over worry.
Any time that you feel worry coming on, make the choice to pray. And don’t just ask God for things, but THANK GOD for things.
Thank him for victory over the circumstance even if you don’t yet see the victory.
Use your prayer as a point of declaration over the enemy. Use your prayer to bring into existence the things God desires to do in your life.
Choose worship over negativity.
In our world there are many reasons to be negative, but if you’re a believer, I challenge you: don’t be negative.
When you feel negative thoughts begin to rise up in your spirit, find a way to worship God.
Worship and negativity cannot live in the same space.
Worship with your words.
Worship with your thoughts.
Worship with your attitude.
Worship with your heart.
And remember…Whatever you are facing today:
This is the day that the Lord has made.
Make the choice to rejoice.