Posted on March 10, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
There is an image that sticks in my mind of a young wrestler battling a worthy opponent for a state title; beyond the match, you see three coaches all posing in different ‘holds,’ yelling encouragement to the young man on the mat. Behind the coaches are stands filled with others who rise and fall with every exchange of position or ankle pick. Many battles are won and lost in this scenario, a victor whose hand is raised and a defeated whose head hangs with exhaustion. It takes an extraordinary individual to compete in this arena, willing to risk everything for victory… or face the challenge of rising again from defeat. But, no one ever faces these trials alone; thousands of hours are invested by others… practice partners, coaches, friends, family, parents who sacrifice time, relationships, and so much else with no expectation of having their hand raised in any manner.
I write this because many situations leave us feeling alone in what seems like failure, rejection, and grief. There are also those moments when we achieve our goals, only to realize it didn’t fulfill our life as we had hoped … an emptiness pervades our thoughts. To all of those who feel alone, I say, ‘There is hope, and His name is Jesus.’ You are not abandoned; God is at work in every circumstance to weave you through His plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I had a friend who would say, ‘when I step into any arena, I don’t go alone, I carry everyone who has invested in me… it is by the power of their sacrifice that I can arise and fight.’
Through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, everyone who believes in Him receives The Spirit from God in them; we become the ‘Temple of The Holy Spirit.’ This is a precious gift that allows us to know the things He freely gives to us. (1 Cor 2:12) Jesus went on to say, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard (at My Father’s throne). He will tell you about what is to come. He will bring Me glory by showing you whatever He receives from Me.” (John 16:13-14 NLT) In this way, the covenantal promise of God to ‘write His laws in our minds and on our hearts, to be our ‘Champion’ who we can know personally, is fulfilled. (Jer 33:31-34)
Just as my friend could walk into any challenge, strengthened by the thought of those who sacrificed for him, Believers in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, can enter into any arena, filled with all God has made available through Christ. The conduit for this is The Spirit. The same Spirit Jesus entrusted His life too while He lived among us, the same Spirit who drew Him out of the grave in resurrection power! For this reason, God says to you, “Be strong. Be brave. Be fearless. You are never alone, I am with you.” (Joshua 1:9) And, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear God’s voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
In victory or sorrow, God is at work, drawing you into a relationship with Himself. He is at work renewing your life like Jesus, taking off what is old, tattered, and defeated and clothing you in His righteousness and victory. He does all this so you can walk boldly into His gracious presence. At His throne, you will receive God’s endurance and mercy, and you will find grace to help when you need it most… When His plan for good has made your plans a disaster, and you need the courage to let go of them and understand the future and hope God has perfectly established for you.
You never stand alone when you stand for Christ. He will fill your life up by The Spirit, to the amount of room you make for Him. God gives to faith… so, a little room for faith, a little bit of The Spirit, a lot of room made by faith in God’s promises, a Spirit-filled life to overflowing. The choice is yours…
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.'” – Billy Graham
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 4 Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. –Psalm 25:4-5
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.