“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” ( Isaiah 43:2).
The Late US Congressman, John Lewis, is famous for once saying, “Get in good trouble! Necessary trouble!” He was a life long political
activist and courting trouble was one way he would make his case. As for most people though, trouble, or plainly speaking problems, these are to be avoided. No one generally wakes up to invite problems in his life!
In God’s scheme of things much as we hate problems sometimes He lets them come in our lives to draw us closer to Him. The life of King David was one long journey of overwhelming problems. Once it was clear God had annointed him to succeed the out of favour Saul, woes befell him. Once Saul lunged at him with a spear, determined to kill him ( I Samuel 19). Forced into exile, to hide his identity, he played safe: “So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard” ( I Samuel 21:13). And then later in life he was overthrown in a palace coup, and had to run for his life ( 2 Samuel 15).
It was not only David who had his share of problems. Look at the Apostle Paul who once wrote, “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea..” ( 2 Cor 11:25). Problems were very much part of his itenerary.
A good question here to ask, why would God allow problems in the life of a believer! For a certain part of our lives naturally detests such! What we see here is God often uses problems to draw his servants closer to Him. Through these problems God also reveals His power for deliverance. Problems makes us wait on God, as David wrote, “Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long” ( Psalm 86:1-3)
So, have you lately been experiencing a series of problems, perhaps shaking your faith! Much as these problems are to be detasted, yet as we see in the life of King David and Apostle Paul, here is one way for God to reveal His purposes and plans for our lives. More importantly God never fails; in the end He comes through to deliver us at the right time!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, where I encounter problems of any nature, may I take comfort in you to draw me closer to you and wait upon your deliverance, this I 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!