[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, it's Rick Hamlin. Psalm 129-- "many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me. The plowers have plowed upon my back and made furrows on my back, but they have not prevailed against me." I'm not somebody who likes the idea of physical suffering. I also hate to think that I might have enemies.
But as Jesus told us, we love our enemies. And you wonder why when these terrible things happen. This is a prayer about having enemies.
Well, I can think of a situation where I did have someone who seemed to be torturing me. It seemed to be an adversarial relationship. And I felt afflicted. But you know what happens in those relationships-- those people who are "enemies" often end up to be friends. I just read a prayer where they described them as maybe-- don't think of them as enemies, think of them as cruel friends. Because that person who might be the enemy is challenging you.
Through that person you learn patience. You learn how to deal with your anger. You learn maybe to listen. You discover, perhaps, your faults. Maybe you aren't perfect. And this is how we prevail against them. This is how we prevail are against our afflictions.
I read the wonderful book "Unbroken" about Zammperini, and he struggled amazing torture in the Japanese prison camps. But he prevailed. His faith was incredibly strong. And out of it he came stronger, especially when he forgave his enemies. That's how you make the enemy into the friend because that enemy is, in fact, someone who, on this earth and beyond, can do good for us. They will not prevail against me. Amen. Psalm 129. Thanks.