Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. (Ps. 35:1)
“WHAT CAN I DO?” She wrung her hands as she watched the evening news depicting refugees persecuted for their beliefs. He asked the same when he saw children bullied for wanting to pray at a flagpole at school. A coworker wiped tears as she discovered slanderous words, that mocked her faith scrawled onto her desk. Persecution for the faith, as well as the intolerance that precedes it, is a global phenomenon. It always has been. This psalm attests to it. Christ went to the cross because of it.
So what can we do? First and foremost, we can pray, even for our enemies. Then hand the battle over to God, just as David did. He was far from perfect, but David had a deep faith, and, because of it, he suffered severe persecution. His life was threatened numerous times. Yet he knew where his help and strength lay. They were not in his own abilities. David wrote, “Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation” (Ps. 35:9).
This should be our response as well. Don’t try to fight on your own. God will equip you to walk away, stand firm, or even reach out to touch your enemies and heap burning coals on their heads by your unaffected kindness and refusal to retaliate (see Rom. 12:20).
Let the One who won the war fight your battles.
Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.