I remember years ago, when I had watched several of my friends fall from ministry within a relatively short time span. I felt deep sadness, confusion, hurt, anger, an entire kaleidoscope of heartache for weeks, if not months.
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)
People who I loved had brought devastation to their lives, their families, their churches and had lost a big battle. The effects were far reaching. I didn’t know what to do, and I was afraid that the same thing would happen to me. If these people much more godly than me fell, then it seemed like an inevitability that I would too.
Though this specific scenario may not be something you have personally experienced, you have certainly known the heartache of living in a world that has been ravaged by sin and sits under the control of the evil one.
You have stood face to face with your own sin. You have also likely known the struggle it can be to find hope and courage in the middle of the brokenness. You have lost battles, and watched others lose them too.
Martin Luther helps us here. This theme song of the Protestant Reformation, in 4 short stanzas, offers our hearts immense hope in a way that helps us to enter the fight against evil and for hope with confidence in Christ who has fought, is fighting, and will fight for us.
Be Strong In The Lord
The Bible does not minimize the power and influence of Satan and his demons. Scripture tells us that we can be outwitted by Satan (2Cor.2:11), accused (Zech. 3:1), afflicted by him (Lk. 8:26-31), and devoured (1 Pet. 5:8). This is why Paul encourages us to stand firm in the strength of the Lord. (Eph. 6:10-17).
In The Strength of His Might
Paul’s admonition in Ephesians 6 is not to try to muster up our best attempts to fight off our spiritual enemy. No, he knows that this is woefully inadequate. He calls on believers to rely upon the strength of the Lord - to walk in the power that He gives us in the Gospel that is ours by faith.
We need to be properly dressed for the occasion that we find ourselves in. And the situation that we are in is one of close quartered, hand to hand combat against the enemy of our souls. And the armor we need for this battle is found in the Gospel, not more money, not easier circumstances, not a different struggle that we think would be easier. No, we need the power of God for salvation. We need the Gospel.
We need the truth of God’s word to give clarity in the midst of the battle.
We need the righteousness of God in Christ to cover our hearts so that we are protected from the accusations of the enemy.
We need the call of the Gospel to keep us moving through our life with the mission of God as our focus.
We need the faith that God gives us to extinguish the darts of the enemy that say that losing the battle is inevitable, that failure is certain, that freedom really isn’t possible.
We need the salvation we have to guard our hearts and minds in Christ.
We need the Scriptures to battle the lies of the world, our flesh, and the devil.
On our own, we lose the battle. But we are not alone. The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who sides with us. Nothing comes close to the refuge, the resource, the friend, the helper, the forgiveness, the courage, and the hope that comes from God, our mighty fortress.