Tuesday, September 3, 2013

  "Valleys and Battlefields"

 "I will be with thee" (Isaiah 43:2).    

So long as God's promised presence abides with us, nothing can confront us that we cannot endure, and more than endure.  "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."  The "things" referenced by the Apostle Paul include "tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and sword" (Romans 8:35-37).  Indeed, there is nothing to conquer in times of quiet, orderly, and pleasant walks through beautiful and tranquil gardens.  We rather require valleys and battlefields for such experience.  Certainly, the Lord Jesus can be glorified in us when things are going well, as we gratefully trust and submit ourselves to Him with praise and thanksgiving.  Far greater glory awaits, however, when we must descend into dark valleys, or upon fields of conflict where we find ourselves engaged in violent struggle.  "Glorify ye the Lord in the fires" (Isaiah 24:15).   

One day, it will not be this way.  One day, those beautiful and tranquil gardens will greet us as our eternally, abiding portion.  Rest from the battles and summit vistas of wonder await us when all things shall have been redeemed, purified, and perfected.  Yes, one day... This, however, is not that day.  This is the day of conflict, wherein we awaken upon a spiritual battlefield with the smoke of conflict and fiery darts filling the air all around us.  This is the day for necessary descents into valleys where we often cannot see a firm place of footing for our next step.  This is the day for challenge, but far more, for our overcoming of challenge.      

"In the world, ye shall have much tribulation.  But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world... Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.  And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (John 16:33; I John 5:4).    
In the valley and on the battlefield, the Captain of our salvation awaits to lead us unto glories that can be known nowhere else.  He bears the wounds of conflict, but far more, He wears the crown of victory.  Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ overcame so that we might overcome.  "I am with thee" He declares to our hearts.  Little more needs to be known, remembered, and affirmed in order to traverse the valley, and conquer on the battlefield.  Because so long as our Lord is with us, we can endure any challenge, and more than endure.

"For by Thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall."  (II Samuel 22:30)

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