“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).
One of the most striking experiences in life is chancing upon a mirage. Explained; a mirage is an illusion sometimes seen wavering over hot pavement that looks like a pool of water or a mirror in which distant objects are seen inverted. A mirage often shines brilliantly, and one can be lured to it, in anticipation to draw some water or see himself better. Yet the thing is as one comes closer to a mirage that is when the picture becomes clearer. It was but an illusion.
Our lives can also be moved by these illusions. For instance we can worry that out our future and our situation is uncertain due to what we see. Based on our understanding of reality we forge “concrete plans” to be in charge. However, as events in our lives unfold, so often we are astonished to find how little we knew or had control of the future. And this is because our understanding of reality was based on an illusion.
Worry is one of those most unfortunate experiences because so often it is based on illusions. At a distance it might seem we have everything in our sight and our fate is already sealed. So we what else, but worry! Thoughts of worry do not move in solitude but once given in they welcome a troop of other worrisome thoughts. The victim freezes down with worry of how he has been abandoned and the world is going to crush all around him.
Do not give in to worry for so often our worries are based on mirages and are but illusions. If we talk of the future it is all in God’s hands. The Psalmist says, “You, LORD, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands (Psalm 16:5). And where there are circumstances affecting us, and we think are beyond our control; Psalm 118 says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever”!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, faced with events that I do not understand let me not give myself to needless worry but believe in you, for you are in control, this I pray in the Lord Jesus’s name!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!