Tag Archives: stand strong

A Confident Warrior

One of the misconceptions many of us believe is that when God is with us and for us, we won’t experience bad things. It can be quite a shock when we go through a very long season of difficulties. We question our faith, we question what’s going on and we question God. Almost every time, there are no answers. I remember crying out, “God, where are you? If you’re with me, why is this happening?” I didn’t get any answers, but I did find out that God’s Grace is deeper than any trouble I went through. It was sufficient to carry me through the darkest times.

In Judges 6, Israel was constantly being attacked by the Midianites for seven years. When Israel’s crops would start to grow, the Midianites would come destroy them. They stole their livestock as well so that Israel was without food and became impoverished. Israelites lived in constant fear because of it. That’s when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and called him a mighty warrior saying God was with him. In verse 13 he replied, “‘Sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites’” (NLT). He didn’t get answer, but he did get a mission to deliver Israel.

Even when we face the longest, darkest struggles, we have God’s promise to never leave us. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you” (GNT). It’s hard to be confident in those times. Gideon wasn’t, but God called out the confident warrior in him. There’s a confident warrior in you too. You are able to face any struggle, fight every battle and survive any difficult season because God is with you. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Don’t back down or lose hope now. Be determined and confident in Him. He will not fail you or go back on His promises.

Photo by Aaron Thomas on Unsplash

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My Mentor Job

A friend of mine at “A Mike For Christ” recently asked a question that took me a while to answer. He asked, “Who in the Scriptures besides Jesus teaches you much, whether about God, spirituality, or your own humanity?” I’m not a person who like it when people give me the easy answer, so I don’t like to give the easy answer. A lot of names came to mind when I read the question, but I asked myself, “Which person in the Bible teaches me about all three?” I wondered if there was someone who gave me insight into God, what it means to be spiritual and taught me about my own humanity.

I came up with Job. You may say, “That’s an easy answer. Why didn’t you say Mephibosheth or someone like that?” Job I believe met all three criteria in my own personal life. He taught me a lot about who God is. One of the first things I learned about God is that He doesn’t cause the bad times in my life, but He allows them so that He can prove my faithfulness to Him. Satan went to God and pointed to Job’s righteousness. Satan told God that he only lived that way because of all the blessings. God responded in Job 1:12, “All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence (NLT).

Job also taught me about spiritual things. He proved that you could maintain your integrity in the most difficult of circumstances. Having lost his kids, his possessions, his money and everything precious to him, He fell to his knees and found cause to worship God. When his friends accused him of wrong doing, he did not flinch. When his wife told him to curse God and die, he responded with wisdom, “Shall we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” When he had no reason to hope, to trust or the worship, he did all three because of his foundation found in his relationship with God.

He reminds me of my humanity later on in the book. God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind and asked him some tough questions like, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Do you know where the gates of death are? Can you direct the constellations through the seasons?” I’m reminded that God is in control and my feeble attempts to control my life are out of my hands. The things that happen can be a consequence of my behavior or they can be from God to prepare me for things that are coming. Either way, God has set them into motion and they are far too great for me to understand even if He answered my question of “Why”.

Job is the oldest book in the Bible and it still speaks to me. Every time I read it, I gain insight into who God is and how He sees me. I get challenged to live a life of worship. When hard times hit unexpectedly, they reveal what’s really on the inside. For job, that was worship and integrity. When life’s storms hit my shore, I look to Job for advice and proof that I can survive anything. He was human and he endured Satan’s worst attacks on his life. His humanity was exposed in the storm, but so was his foundation. I want to be that kind of follower of Christ. I want to have that sure of a foundation. I want God to be able to point at me and say, “Have you considered my servant Chris? He is blameless – a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” If Job did it, so can you and I.

So I ask you, who in the Scriptures, besides Jesus, teaches you much about God, spirituality or your own humanity?

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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