“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” - Psalm 139:14 (NIV).
During the sweep of the Delta virus pandemic there were frequent instances of lives around us suddenly going. Now it is one thing to see a person full of life but to lose the same person in a matter of hours or just days, can be more than devastating. Perhaps by nursing the person long before the finality of life draws to end one could come around with the idea of life going, which is not the case with such sudden deaths.
Scripture says, “Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty.. soon they disappear, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). Life is a gift from God. As Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom." On one hand it is tempting to feel one has all the power with life but in reality our control is very much limited.
King Solomon once wrote, “This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them-for this is their lot” (Ecclesiastes 5:18). We should enjoy life where we have it. Later he concludes his long reflection with an enduring advice, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
In a time of a pandemic two things can happen. There are those who in the midst of sudden loss or gradual loss of loved ones become so embittered and lose faith in God. But there are also those who realize that after all life is a gift from God and we should be thankful, forever, difficult as it may, when we lose loved ones. And for the faithful, we are even comforted with the knowledge, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor 4:17).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God, creator of heaven and earth, today I thank you for the gift of life, and pray I may cherish it, as a treasure, for only you know the number of my days, which all belong to you!
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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!