Overcoming Cruelty

Psalm 71:4
“Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.”

God’s people can sometimes be the most cruel people on Earth. If you have served the LORD for any length of time, you probably have experienced the cruel words and attacks that come from God’s people. In the verse above, the psalmist recognized the fact that man can be cruel. However, the psalmist didn’t let the cruelty of man affect his spirit or his response to man. The psalmist recognized that God is the only One Who can deliver anyone from the cruel words, actions and attacks that man may inflict upon you. This psalm gives several actions you must take when you experience the cruelty of man.

First, never lose hope in the LORD. Verse 5 says, “For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD…” The cruel attacks against you may hurt you deeply, but you cannot lose hope that God is in control. There are days when you wonder if you can make it through the cruelty of man, but you cannot lose hope in spite of the cruel words or attacks that you face on a daily basis.

Second, keep praising the LORD in spite of man’s cruelty. The psalmist said in verse 6, “…my praise shall be continually of thee.” He continues to say in verse 8, “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise…” Praising the LORD has a way of taking your mind off the attacks of the wicked. You’ll never have time to see the negative if you spend your day praising the LORD.

Third, don’t become despondent; you have another day to live. Verse 9 says, “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” You may think there is no end to the cruelty, but you must not let the attacks cause you to lose your courage. Satan absolutely wants you to become despondent because it takes your boldness to witness for Christ away.

Fourth, go tell others about God’s salvation. Verse 15 says, “My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day…” One of the best ways to get your mind off the cruelty that comes your way is to tell someone how to get saved. Seeing people get saved has a way of encouraging you through the attacks of wicked and cruel people.

Fifth, sing songs. Verse 22 says, “I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp…” Get a happy hymn and sing it throughout the day. Let me caution you not to pick a hymn that seems to talk about the hardness of the Christian walk. Sing hymns that are victorious and happy by nature. Sing hymns that are upbeat and filled with the praises of God. You will find that singing happy hymns has a way of picking up your heart in times of cruel attacks.

Sixth, rejoice about what you do have. The psalmist says in verse 23, “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.” Even though you may be going through tough times, you still have plenty of good things that the LORD has given to you. Focusing on God blessings has a way of filling your mouth with the praises of God instead of complaining about the hardness of life. Yes, you may be going through tough times, but you still are on your way to Heaven, and that alone should be enough to keep you on topside in spite of man’s cruelty towards you.

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