“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” - Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)
A great polish writer, Joseph Conrad, once wrote, “Without hope mankind would long be dead!” This truth was later confirmed by the Holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl, who lost his entire family during World War 11, mostly in concentration camps where he too was a prisoner. Through his experiences Frankl found that it was those prisoners who held on to hope of survival who generally came out alive. But once one gave up on hope, the end was not so long.
One of those most unfortunate things in life is people who go through life and all its trials without hope. When people who lack faith lose a loved one it is the end. Little wonder that many cling on to their objects of possession because that is all the hope they have. This contrasts with us Christians because we have one of the most powerful weapon there is in life. Hope.
Christians know before we came to be our lives were marked out already for something greater and higher as revealed by the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Nothing happens in the life of a Christian by chance because there is a God at work.
Through his trials, King David prayed in Psalm 18:1: “I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” When believers are going through storms they theirs is the song: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth is transformed and the mountains are toppled into the depths of the seas…” (Psalm 46:1-2).
It is because of this hope that Christians can endure any situation while full of joy. Pressed against whatever force, Christians have undying faith, “for we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Today, therefore, whatever you may be going through be sure you live not as those without hope! Let that hope in Jesus radiate through your life and touch all those around you.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray that I live joyfully because of the hope I have through faith in your son, Jesus Christ!
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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!