Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Psalm 43: 5
King James Version
Today’s Study Text:
“The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
Exodus 14: 14
“Trapped Between Pharaoh and the Sea” Part 4
“Take the very hardest thing in your life – the place of difficulty, outward or inward, and expect God to triumph gloriously in that very spot. Just there He can bring your soul into blossom.”
L. Lilias Trotter
What specific situation in my life do I need God to fight for me?
How would I feel knowing God is fighting every battle in my life?
“He (God) can give only according to His might; therefore He always gives more than we ask for.”
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
Psalm 46: 1, 2, 7
The great Christian hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” written by the reformer, Martin Luther, was based on the words found in Psalm 46. Most often, it is the first verse of any hymn which is sung frequently and this familiar hymn is no exception.
However, as we look closely at our study text today, it would do us well to take a look at the second verse in this song:
“Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side,
The man of
God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He…From
Age to age the same.”
It is the first few words in the second verse that got my attention, especially when combined with the advice Moses gave the Israelites.
Yes, Moses recognized that the children of Israel were between a rock and a hard place. With the Egyptians coming full-speed ahead and the Red Sea acting as a barrier on the other side, Moses told the frightened Israelites not to be afraid, to stand still, and see with their very own eyes how God was going to deliver them. But then Moses went even one step further. He told the Israelites that God would fight for them.
When we compare this phrase with the second verse of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” where we are advised not to confide in our own strength, because we would lose the battle, it should encourage each of us to take a moment to pause and reflect on how we attempt to handle the battles we get involved in during our lives.
All too often, it’s easy to enter a battle with our strategic plan laid out ahead of time, thinking we have a winning formula for conquering the enemy.
And yet, in our own strength, it is futile to try and out-maneuver the wily foe. This is why Timothy wrote that when going into battle, we must fight the battle with a heart filled with faith – and not faith in ourselves, but faith in heaven’s power to take on the enemy and vanquish him.
For those of you who feel you are fighting alone – on your own – I encourage your heart today with these words from an unknown author:
“I am leading my child to the heavenly land;
I am leading her day by day.
And am asking her now, while I hold her hand,
To come Home by a rugged way.
By a way that she never herself would choose,
For its beauties she doth not see;
And she knows not yet what her soul would lose
If she tred not this path with Me.
I will walk by her side when the road is wild,
I will ever My succor lend:
She shall lean on My strength, I will shield My child,
As the shadows of night descend.”
As you are well aware, I’m very fond of gospel music – especially those songs which reflect the spiritual warfare of the author. There’s a terrific song written by Reverend F. C. Barnes, “Rough Side of the Mountain””
“Oh Lord, I’m striving,
trying to make it through this barren land,
but as I go from day to day
I can hear my Savior say,
‘Trust me child, come on and hold my hand.’
I’m coming up Lord, although my burdens
sometimes they press me down,
but if I can only keep this faith
I’ll have strength just to run the race;
I’m looking for my starry crown.
This old race will soon be over,
there’ll be no more race for me to run,
and I will stand before God’s throne,
all my heartaches will be gone,
I’ll hear my Savior say, ‘Welcome home.’
I’m coming up on the rough side of the mountain,
I must hold to God, His powerful hand.
I’m coming up on the rough side of the mountain,
I’m doing my best to make it in.”
This dear Pastor dedicated his life to over 40 years of gospel music ministry. Like so many children of God, his life wasn’t always easy but the most famous song he wrote, “Rough Side of the Mountain,” encourages each one of us to hold onto God’s hand and never let go. In the words of Moses to God’s children, “the Lord will fight for you.”
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
I Timothy 6: 12
“Fight the good fight with all thy might,
Christ is thy strength and Christ thy right,
Lay hold on life and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.
Cast care aside, lean on thy Guide:
His boundless mercy will provide;
Trust, and the trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its life, and Christ is love.
Faint not, nor fear, His arms are near;
He changeth not and thou art dear.
Only believe, and thou shalt see,
That Christ is all in all to thee.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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