Remembering Veterans On Veterans Day
When Life Is Hard: 9 Reminders that “The Lord Fights for You”
Whether we recognize it or not, this truth daily confronts us, we face an enemy here in this life. It’s more than what we can see before us. It’s more than another person who we think has wronged us. It’s more than our own struggles and weaknesses we deal with, or the negative self-talk we sometimes battle.
This enemy is real and fierce. He will stop at nothing to try to bring you defeat and destruction. Maybe you’ve noticed too. Because if you’re a believer who is living like salt and light in a dark world, you won’t go for long without encountering obstacles and attacks he’ll hurl your direction. We can be assured, this enemy hates Truth. So if we’re living by it, standing on it, seeking after it, we will be targeted. God’s words are true, this battle is real, many times it feels intense.
But here’s the powerful hope that keeps us strong: God is greater than whatever we face here in this world, and He fights for us still today!
If you’re in the heat of the battle right now, or if the enemy feels hot on your trail, please know you’re not alone, not ever. Neither are you left to fight on your own. Many of us are in the battle with you, and God is the One who fights on our behalf, constantly shielding, protecting, strengthening, even when we’re unaware. We never have to struggle to fend for ourselves, but He’s with us, always, covering us, in all of our days.
He’s given us His words that are powerful and true, so that we’ll have the wisdom to stand strong against the enemy. As I read these verses this morning, the reality struck me again that Paul wrote them while in chains, in prison. Yet the truth is – the enemy, no matter how vicious his schemes, can never chain our spirits that have been set free by Christ. Paul was not silenced by the cruel attacks from dark forces. Neither should we be.
Focusing here today, putting on His armor, staying alert, and praying, that God will equip believers everywhere to “stand strong.” Press on – courageous and free – never held back by fear or defeat. For God has the final victory over our lives…
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Eph. 6:10-18
Remember, your battle today may be more about what is unseen than what you see before you. And when you resist the enemy, God’s word reminds us in James 4:7 that he has to flee.
Stand strong my friends, grace to you this day.
You’re never alone.
He loves you. He fights for you. He is with you.
9 Reminders from God’s Word that “The Lord Fights for Us” Today:
“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deut. 20:4
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Rom. 8:31
“Through You we will push back our adversaries; Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.” Ps. 44:5
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt. 10:28
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deut. 3:22
“Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Is. 40:31
“One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.” Josh. 23:10
Captain Russell Rippetoe was serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. Previously, while serving in Afghanistan, Rippetoe saw men die, which brought a renewal to his Christian faith and a new passion for the Bible.
On the chain around his neck, he wore a “Shield of Strength,” a one-by-two-inch emblem displaying a U.S. flag on one side and words from Joshua 1:9 on the other.
On April 3, 2003, Rippetoe’s company was manning a nighttime checkpoint near the Hadithah Dam when a vehicle approached. Suddenly, a woman jumped out and cried, “I’m hungry. I need food and water!” Protecting his men, Rippetoe gave the order to hold back as he moved toward the woman to see how he could help. When she hesitated, the driver detonated a car bomb that killed Captain Rippetoe, Sergeant Nino Livaudais, and Specialist Ryan Long and wounded several others.
Rippetoe believed the ancient words of Joshua 1:9: “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Rippetoe, who died trying to help someone, was the first casualty of the Iraq conflict to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? — Psalm 27:1
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. — Psalm 30:5
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. — Psalm 28:7
As we headed south from Banner Elk, North Carolina, there was a long steep grade curving through the Blue Ridge Mountains. We saw a sign that said, “runaway truck ramp one mile.” We wondered how in the world a ramp could be built that would stop a truck with no brakes as it barreled down the mountain. Then in a moment we saw it, branching off to the right like a spur on the road and slanting only slightly uphill and maybe 50 yards long. But it was all sand. One big mound and then a series of small mounds. It was the soft, deep sand that would stop the truck.
The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles are like a runaway truck ramp. They stop us when we ought to be trucking right on through the Bible. I wonder how many people resolve to read through the Bible, but instead grind to a stop in the sandy genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1–9. They are very hard to get over.
But the irony is that the highway through 1 and 2 Chronicles is dotted frequently with scenic overviews of God’s gracious purpose. If we can get through the sands of chapters 1–9, these scenes are a tremendous refreshment to our faith. Here’s one example to encourage you to dig yourself out and keep going in the Blue Ridge Parkway of God’s revelation.
Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against Jerusalem when Hezekiah was king. So Hezekiah gathered the people and the commanders together in the square at the gate. If you memorize what he said to them you will know the power of God in a new way. He said:
Be strong and be courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with them; for there is one greater with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.
Then the writer adds, “And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah” (2 Chronicles 32:7–8).
I want it to be said of me, “The people took confidence from the words of John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church.” That’s my goal: “the advancement and joy of your faith” (Philippians 1:25). What is the “King of Assyria” in your life? Whatever it is, remember: “there is one greater with you than with him!” If you trust him, the LORD almighty is on your side and will fight your battles! “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. . . . The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still” (Exodus 14:13–14).