Psa. 23:5 ¶ You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
David had learned the importance of being filled with the Spirit to ward off the depression that easily comes from the attacks that come against the righteous. David had faced the loss of everything at the hands of the Philistines at Ziklag yet he was able to ‘strengthen’ himself in the Lord. What does that mean? Of course it speaks of accessing this presence of God in prayer which was the strength of David’s life. If you are a Christian, especially if you are involved in ministry, you will face continual adversity in this world. It is critical that you learn to strengthen yourself in the Lord by building yourself up in the Holy Spirit . That’s is what today’s verse describes; a spread spiritual table, oil poured on your head, and an overflowing cup in the presence of your enemies. Luther knew from experience the taste of adversity for the sake of the gospel.Listen to his description of how to overcome all of those attacks.
“But such power, joy, and blissful intoxication are manifested in the believers not only when they prosper and have peace, but also when they suffer and die. When the council at Jerusalem, therefore, had the Apostles flogged, they rejoiced that they had been counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name of Christ. And in Rom. 5:3 St. Paul says: “We also rejoice in our sufferings.” Later on many martyrs, men and women, when to their deaths with happy hearts and laughing mouths as though they were going to a happy festival or dance. They not only boldly and confidently conquered the devil and the world through their deaths, but were also cheerful with all their hearts, just as if they had been drunken with great joy. In our times, too, many have died cheerfully because they have confessed Christ. Similarly we learn that many die in their beds with a fine understanding and faith and say with Simeon, “With peace and joy I now depart,” so that it is a pleasure to behold, as I myself have often beheld it. And all this because, as the prophet says, they are anointed with the oil which the Forty-fifth Psalm calls an oil of gladness and have drunk from the overflowing cup which the Lord has filled.”
The greatest adversity we could face would be martyrdom and the Spirit tempers even the most unthinkable bouts with persecution. I can remember how much I despised reading ‘Fox’s Book of Martyrs’ in Bible School I felt inferior and afraid as I read the stories of martyrdom in that book. I had no understanding of the power of the anointing and how huge joy was in being able to endure difficulties. What kind of enemies and battles are you facing? Drink His cup and you too will laugh your way through your troubles.