My Christ is My Strength

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

Through our faith in Jesus we can overcome as He and have an overwhelming victory for the glory of God. As we receive our Lord’s encouragement, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) As a follower of Jesus we do not have to settle for just a “W” in the column but an overwhelming victory because we have the power of the universe residing within us, we have the Holy Spirit which is greater than the evil spiritual forces that come against us. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

In many Scriptures of the Old Testament we see the miraculous work of the Lord to win the battles for His people. It was as such for the Israelites as they came out of the land of bondage in Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. Leaving the army of Pharaoh to drown in the crashing waters behind them. All through the wilderness journey and even into the Promised Land Israel faced enemies that were superior to them. But as they fought their way through they had faith in the promises of their God that He would fight for them and give them the victory over their enemies. “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Exodus 14:14) Just as they stood on the banks of the Red Sea believing the words from their leader Moses who spoke to them what the Lord had promised. The armies of Pharaoh had trapped them between themselves and the Red Sea with nowhere to go but face defeat. The Lord God told Moses to tell His people to be not afraid. “But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.” (Exodus 14:13)

The armies of the north had come against the Israelite people and camped around the City of Jerusalem. The Lord told the Prophet Jeremiah to look and see and Jeremiah replied that he saw a boiling pot coming from the north. The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Out of the north the evil will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land.” (Jeremiah 1:14) These mighty armies were coming against Israel because of the disobedience against God’s Word. The Lord was going to punish them for their misbehavior as God is a just God. Jeremiah was told that the enemies would fight against the Israelite people but in His providence they would not prevail. “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:19)

In 2 Kings we read of a famine struck Israel that was facing starvation and the people knew not how they would survive. Then the army of the Arameans came against them to conquer them and drive them from the land. But the Lord caused the Arameans to hear the sounds of a great army coming and they fled leaving there supplies behind them. The Israelites were not only saved from the approaching armies of the Arameans but they were able to plunder their supplies of clothing and food, thus they were saved from starvation. As a result, without lifting a hand to their defense the Israelites were “more that conquerors.”

We must place the trails and tribulations that come into our lives in their proper perspective. The root of all is found in the truth that sin entered into the world at man’s fall in the Garden of Eden. The punishment for that is the curse that was place on man, the world and Satan. (Genesis 3:16-19) Satan was cast down to the earth from Heaven because of his sin against God and he is the ruler of this world. “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Perhaps when man was created by God Satan believed that man should serve him. But this is not the truth, we belong to God as we are the crown of His creation, as all creation belongs to God. Satan is man’s adversary and accuses man before God. “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10)

Satan is the Christians adversary and he sends all kinds of life defeating, joy stealing attacks to destroy man and rob God of His joy in man. Satan is a thief and comes to destroy the life of the follower of Jesus Christ. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) Satan is the root cause of all our trials and tribulations and what we see of it in our lives is but the symptoms of that root. He is the author of our persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and war. Attack as Satan will he is unable to separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:35) “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39–39)

This is our encouragement from the Apostle Paul that if we stand firm in our faith when these trials some into our life that God will fight our battles for us if we let Him. God will fight them for His glory. In Ephesians Paul tells us that our battle, though it may appear, is not against flesh and blood but against evil spiritual forces that are beyond our ability. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) We need our Savior to fight these battles for us, we need to allow Him to fight them through us, and we need to obey Him for the glory He will receive in the overwhelming victory He will give us.

Satan does not have the power to steal away our eternal destiny, he cannot rob us of the reward we will receive for our reasonable service to the King of kings. All we need is a little faith in a big God and place our trust in His Word. Nothing can snatch us from the hand of God. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:27–29)

There will be trials, there will be tribulations, because we live in a cursed world in which the prince of the air travels to and fro seeking someone to devoir. The Christian has an Almighty Father who fights for us. Even in the darkest of valleys that come into our lives He is there to give us comfort. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) We may not understand the how or why but if we keep our faith strong and our eye upon our Lord and Savior He will lead us through and by our faith in Him all will work for the good. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

There is no mountain high enough or valley low enough, no place above or beneath the earth that we cannot know the presence of the Lord. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.” (Psalm 139:7–12) We are not traveling a path that is unknown if we are walking in the will of the Lord. He is leading us to our eternal home, He walks before us and has prepared the way for us. “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

It is but a short while these troubles that we face and then we will be at our eternal home with the Lord. We will live forever in peace, joy, and in the everlasting arms of His love. Here we fight the battles in a war that He has already won. He holds the overwhelming victory and will give it to us. We can do it, and though Him we will do it, as He is our strength. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, March 8, 2016

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