Battles

Let’s face it. It’s war out there. And the battlefields multiply. They are everywhere you turn.

There are battles in our schools, battles in our workplaces, battles on our roadways, and battles in our own homes.

There are battles with our parents, battles with our spouse, battles with our children, and battles with our boss.

There are battles with our health, battles with our finances, battles with our careers, and battles with our relationships.

And most deadly of all, we have battles with the devil, battles with the world, and battles with our own sinful flesh.

But we also have a God — a Savior, Jesus — who gives us a solid place to plant our feet for all these battles. He trains us for life’s battles through the teaching of his word. He provides us a safe fortress to run to, a stronghold in which to hide. He is our shield, our refuge and our deliverer.

He is our confidence, our courage, our hope and our ultimate victory.

No matter what the current battle might be.

“Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me” (Psalm 144:1-2, NIV).

Lord Jesus, I have many battles going on in my life. But with you at my side, I am confident of victory. You train my hands. You provide me a place of refuge. You are my shield and my deliverer. Thank you for all your love, mercy and forgiveness. Grant me especially to obtain victory over the devil, the world and my own sinful flesh.

Our Bible reading for Wednesday, December 16, is Malachi 2:17 – 4:6, Revelation 7:1-17 and Psalm 144:1-8.

Header image based on "Think He Got The Point" by Paul Kitchener, CC By 2.0

A Safe Place to Be

If you’ve ever been to a coastline where you can watch big waves tumble over sharp volcanic rock, you know that’s a place to be cautious about swimming. You want to make sure that you have some bigger rocks to hide behind. Otherwise, the forces behind those waves are going to be awfully harsh, if not deadly.

Life can be like that. At times, we need something to hide behind. The rough and tumble of daily living can overcome us, and the constant, unrelenting battering of life’s powerful “waves” slowly, but surely, threatens to drain the life out of us.

Nothing saddens me more than the realization that most people don’t know where to find true safety and rest. So they wander around amongst the sharp rocks and the violent waves and the powerful undertow of life constantly searching, using a trial-and-error method.

In that scenario, every supposed safe harbor just ends up being a short-lived solution to the problem. The fear and exhaustion soon return.

Until we find what David found. There is a true place of safety — a rock to hide behind. There is a place of peace and restoration.

That place is God.

And how does one find refuge behind him?

  1. Know that God really exists as one who wants to be your refuge.
  2. Trust that he is strong enough and loving enough to be your Rock to hide behind.
  3. You hide behind him when you study the Bible and believe its words and promises.
  4. You hide behind him when you are baptized, or when you bring to recollection the benefits of your baptism.
  5. You hide behind him when you receive the Lord’s Supper.
  6. You hide behind him with others when you fellowship with fellow believers in church.
  7. You demonstrate that you are hiding behind him when you pray.
  8. You demonstrate that you are hiding behind him when you give the same grace to others that you have already received from Jesus.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8, NIV)

Our Bible reading for Sunday, May 17, is Ruth 3:1 – 4:22, John 9:35 – 10:21 and Psalm 62:1-12.

Lord, you are my rock and my refuge. Help me to hide behind you so that I always feel safe, even when life is very rough.

Header image based on "Volcanic rock on the shore line" by raider of gin, CC By 2.0