ENCOURAGING THE TROOPS
Bible Bites for the Battle
By Laura J. Bagby
As we remember our men and women in uniform, dear brothers and
sisters in Christ Jesus, this is the time to set our hearts and minds on our
Redeemer, to find peace and safety in Him and His Word to us.
We can become so consumed with the ramifications of war, what it will mean
to our safety, our financial stability, our nation's economy, our children's
future, our mortality that we forget who has ultimate victory in this world
-- Jesus Christ. When we dwell on the evil that surrounds us or entertain
thoughts of future horrors, we take our eyes off of God, whose miracle-working
power is available to change us and to save us and to even change the courses
of the nations.
Thoughts of fear, dread, and worry are not options. Fretting isn't either.
Psalm 37:7 says that fretting only leads to evil. We know from Matthew 6:27
that worrying can't add even an hour to our lives. It says in Romans 8:15
that God didn't give us a spirit of fear.
When our hearts are troubled, we must seek the Lord. When we give our anxious
heart to God instead of remaining paralyzed by fear, we gain His peace. The
Bible tells us plainly in Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." John 14:7 also notes
the exchange of fear for peace by saying this: "Peace I leave with you; my
peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your
hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
I realize that it is difficult to stop fretting and trust the Lord simply
by following the order "Hey, don't worry. Trust in Jesus Christ." I would
be lying if I didn't tell you I am one to imagine every possible evil or pitfall,
find myself gripped by fear, and then experience sleepless nights and knots
in my stomach at the thought of what might happen. But I also know that when
this happens, I need to repent and choose to place my trust back in the Lord.
I simply forgot who my God is. Perhaps you have, too.
When we forget who God is in our circumstances, we jump to the wrong conclusions,
so let us pause for a minute to consider our Great King. Let's look on heavenly
things for a moment to calm our nerves.
WHO IS GOD AT THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY?
- "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews
- "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the
Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows"
Always with us
- He says he will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Joshua
1:5; Hebrews 13:5).
- "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome
the world" (John 16:33).
- "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world"
(1 John 4:4).
- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths
straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- "Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).
- " Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the
wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from
being snared" (Proverbs 3:25-26).
- "I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.
I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over
me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side"
Isn't it good to know how great our God is! He is our Defender, Deliverer,
and Mighty God. Let us choose to trust in His goodness in these troubled times.
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