There is a Fight

Do not be confused when you face difficult times; we are promised them in this life, and yet we are reminded that we are not a people ruled by fear, we are not a people dominated by anxiety. Psalm 27:1 reminds us: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” So we will not shrink away from the obstacles ahead of us. We will not call ourselves weak and talk ourselves out of moving into the places that God calls us. Deuteronomy 31:6 challenges this tendency: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” So I ask, if people had to describe your character based on your actions, what words would they use? What guides your choices? What do you choose to do when nobody is looking? What is your true criteria for the challenges you take on, the mountains you climb, the trials you endure?

I encourage you to read Romans 8:31-40 out loud, and then watch the video.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I Will Fight from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

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Psalm 30: A Different Reading

Imagine that for a long time you believed that after you died, you ceased to exist. The only value you had was those who remembered you but someday the earth would die. The sun would burn out. The universe would collapse. And all life would cease. And this terrified you. So you worked too much, drank too much, smoked too much and got into the wrong relationships (if you didn’t love them, who would?).  And it left you feeling empty and hollow and broken… and then you found God. You actually learned that Jesus came not just for a special group of pious people but for you. And Jesus loved your fallen, broken, empty, dark shell so much He filled it up with the Spirit. That’s kind of my story. And if you read Psalm 30, you can kind of feel how much I love God.

Psalm 30

I will exalt you, O Lord,

for you lifted me out of the depths

and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

O Lord my God, I called to you for help

and you healed me.

O Lord, you brought me up from the grave,

you spared me from going down into the pit.

 

Sing to the Lord, you saints of his;

praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment,

but his favor lasts a lifetime;

weeping may remain for a night,

but rejoicing comes in the morning.

 

When I felt secure, I said,

“I will never be shaken.”

O Lord, when you favor me,

you made my mountain stand firm;

but when you hid your face,

I was dismayed.

 

To you, O Lord, I called;

to the Lord I cried for mercy;

“What gain is there in my destruction,

in my going down into the pit?

Will the dust praise you?

Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me;

Oh Lord, be my help.

 

You turned my wailing into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.