It is easy to go downhill. Anyone who rides a bike knows that. It is easy to go zipping along on a flat road; that calls for very little effort. But going uphill is another matter. Even a slight incline calls for more determination, and taking on a steep grade calls for all the strength and resolution a person has. But going downhill? Anyone can do that. Many a cyclist, faced with a really steep hill, will simply turn around and coast back the way he came. The reason, of course, is that he was not really going anywhere in the first place. After all, he was just out for a joyride.
Being a believer, however, is no joyride. The psalmist was facing a stiff grade: “Many are my persecutors and mine enemies,” he said. Everywhere he looked he saw unfriendly faces. The temptation was to give up. “Yet I do not decline from Thy testimonies,” he added.
John Phillips tells the following story. “As a boy I was brought up in a town that was avidly devoted to soccer. It was the big game. On Saturday afternoons thousands of people would flock to the stadium to see the weekly match. In those days most people walked, took the occasional bus, or rode a bicycle. Very few people had cars. When the match was over and the crowds poured out of the stadium, the sidewalks would be jammed with people walking back toward town. Anyone could have gone with that crowd. A small person could have picked up his legs and been carried along by the crowd, the people were so tightly packed. But try going against it – that was different. To go against the crowd called for determination. It was a struggle every single step.”In spite of the struggle, we need the determination of the psalmist, “Yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.”
What to do:
✞ Be determined to follow the Lord. It will be an uphill struggle, but be determined to stay the course.
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