“A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you” ( Psalm 91:7).
Anyone who has walked through a dark valley will know how easy it is to lose hope because the way is uncertain. A valley looms with hills above often blocking sunlight and obscuring the pathway. The valley may also be teeming with all sorts of dangerous creatures, eager for prey. The paths might be sinew and without a clear direction with dark clouds gathering above. In the valley one can seem hopelessly lost.
But then there is hope.
The prayer of Psalm 91 is to seek refuge in the Lord whenever walking through the valley for His protection will cover us. “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness” ( Psalm 91:2-6).
Around us there are many who are walking through the valley, like the weight of wars, sickness and financial storns. But when we make the Lord our refuge, there is a promise, for “no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands” ( vv 10- 12).
The Bible has those instances of angels coming down to fight on our behalf. As they were about to cross the Red sea with the Pharaoh’s army pursuing them, “Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them” (Exodus 14:9), and all were delivered. So, through the valley, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” ( Hebrews 12:2). He will deliver you out of the valley.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as we walk through the valley, may we take refuge in you, to protect and give us comfort, for you are the light of the way and have gone ahead of us, this we pray in 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!