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Don’t doubt Christ’s ability to be strong on your behalf!
Have you ever heard, “She is one of the strongest people I know?” Or have you heard someone say, “I just don’t know how she does it”? Have you ever read accounts of martyrs or persecuted believers and wondered how you would respond if it was you? Would your faith hold strong? Are you strong?
I have said those things and thought those same things numerous times. However, like so many of our thoughts, they become people-focused and maybe even self-focused. We focus on someone’s response, someone’s behavior, someone’s victories, and we fail to give credit where credit is due. For us as followers of Christ, if there is anything that we see in someone else that is good, we can know that it is a result of Christ’s righteousness alone.
What carries each and every one of us through times of great sorrow and distress is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is the only one who can. He can help us to understand the depth and breadth of His promise to never leave us or forsake us no matter what comes our way.
One night in the jungle, I awoke abruptly, panicked because I couldn’t breathe. My eyes opened to see a vision of a spirit hovering over me and his invisible hands were clamped around my neck. My body was flailing to try to get free, to take even the smallest breath. I couldn’t make a sound and Mike lay still at my side sleeping. Then all of a sudden a great peace fell over me and my thoughts, which were louder than any voice that I could have made, called out for Yahweh. Instantly, the whole scene changed and my eyes opened to realize I was there in the bed and I was fine.
Goosebumps covered my arms and the room seemed so still I didn’t dare move. What had just happened? Something terrible and strange, something unlike I had ever experienced before. My response was to start praying for all my tribal friends that lived around us. We had just begun teaching through the Bible chronologically and I realized, maybe for the first time, that we were not wrestling with the things of this world, flesh and blood but with the princes and powers of the air.
What I also realized was that all I ever needed and all that I ever wanted was found in our God. The peace that I found that night wasn’t generated by me but by Him. The very name and His presence was all I would ever need!
Hardships will always be ours in this life. So when we see grief, when we face death, when we shoulder up sickness, when we are surrounded by evil, peace and strength are there as well. Let us praise a God who is faithful to be strong in times of weakness. It isn’t our strength or our ability or our good works but His!
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