Armed for the fight
Life’s not always easy. In reality it’s an enormous, long struggle. Many of us fight a long fight for survival every day. And it feels as if we’re going to lose the fight at any moment.
Paul and his friends were involved in a continuous struggle. People accused them falsely and dragged their names through the mire. People who knew them well turned their backs on them and pretended not to know them. They were attacked and assaulted. They knew what it was to be poor and they were familiar with sorrow.
And how did Paul see it? He knew in his heart that he was speaking the truth, no matter what people said. In a way he succeeds in bridging the hurt and sorrow with all the joy that is in them. You know, it doesn’t matter if you pretend you don’t know me, because I know that the Almighty God knows me … Yes, even though people assaulted us and tried to kill us we’re still here. Yes, we may not have much, but in the Lord we are very wealthy.
Paul had the right equipment to withstand the curve balls that the world threw at them. 7… working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed … God is on our side. He loves us so much that He let all our sins be nailed to the cross. God will never leave us alone. If He loves us so much that He was prepared to have His Son nailed to a cross, why would He leave us alone in this crisis? No, God will never ever do that. With these weapons on our side we are prepared for the war that the world wants to make against us.
Maybe you think this only happened in Biblical times. Let me tell you John’s story:
We have experienced sorrow, hardship and bankruptcy in our marriage of 32 years:
- Our first little girl died at six weeks because of problems after birth.
- We had three beautiful children after that, but not without difficulty:
- Today my eldest son is well qualified and everything in his life went well up to now, for which we are very grateful.
- My second youngest son had complications at eight months, which led to epilepsy, to such an extent that he suffered damage at the age of 11 years and became learning disabled.
- At three days old our youngest daughter was diagnosed with heart disease to such an extent that she underwent her first open-heart surgery at four days old. After three follow-up operations she became paralysed at six months after complications during her fourth heart operation. Another one followed at the age of five years.
- In 1999 my son and daughter suffered further complications, and I became very depressed. This after I lost our life’s savings because someone else used our money in the business for himself.
The angel of death was physically taking me away when God appeared before me in a clear white image and invited me to come and sit with Him and Jesus. He said to me: “Come to me, I will never leave you”.
Obviously, everything changed in an instant. Despite his learning problem my son is employed full-time. Despite her disability my daughter is academically qualified and on the threshold of an enormous breakthrough in the music industry.
His promise to us still holds true today and He will take care of us, no matter the circumstances. If we focus on Him, nothing will overcome us, because power and strength overcomes anything and everything. In the process we also learnt to forgive people and to learn the meaning and importance of forgiveness.
Just like Paul John knew which weapons to use to withstand and conquer the attacks of the world. With the weapon of a God who cared so much for His people that He even took their sin on Himself, we can take on life. God is with us everywhere. Know this. Believe this and live this.
Where do your attacks come from?
What must you do to arm yourself?
Do you believe that God is with you?
Father, I need You so. I cannot do it on my own. I believe that You have died for my sin and love me very much and will never leave me. I want to fight against the attacks of this world. Now I take up the armour of salvation. Please walk with me everywhere I go. Amen