November 10, 2023
You Are Not Fighting This Battle Alone
DR. JOEL MUDDAMALLE
Lee en español
Have you ever stood on the sidelines of a sporting event? Even if it's only Little League, there is nothing like an exciting, competitive game.
I remember when my oldest son, Liam, got his first chance to start on his flag football team. There were so many good players that he had to work hard to get his opportunity as a starter. The competition was fierce!
Ever since Liam started playing flag football, I had been coaching his team. I'd always been with him on the field and on the sidelines. So when the day came for him to start, he looked at me and said, "Dad ... you're going to be with me, right?"
I said, "Of course, son. I'll be with all the other parents cheering you on from the stands."
He said, "No, Dad, I need you to be with me. Like, with me on the sidelines."
You see, Liam felt comfortable with me, his dad, on the sideline with him. Having that familiar voice to provide instruction, direction and encouragement made him feel safe. Regardless of his performance, he knew Dad was going to be on the sideline with words of praise and a fist bump after every play.
Isn't it true that the presence of someone who loves us makes us feel secure?
This conversation got me thinking about my relationship with God. God's presence brings me comfort. His strength makes me feel confident and strong. But like Liam, sometimes I worry that I may be on the field while God is distant somewhere far off in the stands. I can find myself thinking, No, God, I need You to be with me. Like, with me on the sidelines. I need Your help.
If that's where you find yourself right now, here's something that has encouraged me when I find myself looking for God. Look at Isaiah 59:16:
"He saw that there was no manâhe was amazed that there was no one interceding; so his own arm brought salvation, and his own righteousness supported him."
For the people in the Old Testament who heard these verses in real time, these words revealed that God is not a King who sits in the stands and watches. No, He is the type of King who is on the front lines, personally walking with His army into battle.
This tells us something pretty incredible about God: He cares. He cares so much that He would use His unlimited power and strength for the good of His people, including you and me.
When we think about God in this way, we are reminded of the trust we can have in God because of the protection He provides for us. Even though we can't physically see God or sometimes even understand what He's doing, His character has always been to provide help for His people. To provide strength. To provide freedom. To provide love. And not just to provide it but to literally embody it Himself. He is strength. He is freedom. He is love.
And because God's character never changes, the assurance of Him providing for us will never change. Jesus wants you to see Him as the solution and to experience His presence and His kindness right now, no matter what you're going through. He has never caused evil or the hurt that it brings, but He will be so very present with you in the middle of it all. You never have to fight any battle alone.
In conclusion, this is what we can hold on to today:
- When we feel weak, we can take comfort in God's never-ending, never-ceasing strength.
- When our feet feel like they're slipping, we can hold on to Jesus. He is our stability. He never loses His grip on us.
- When we feel disoriented and alone in a heartbreaking situation, we can take hold of the arm of Jesus, who is forever our strength and protection.
God, thank You for Your strength that never fails. Thank You that even when I feel weak, Your always-present strength is working on my behalf. I trust You in everything I'm facing right now. Continue to reveal Yourself to me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
As believers, we are called to live like Jesus. But we can't live like Jesus if we don't really know how He lived during His time on earth. That's why we are diving into 30 significant moments of His life and ministry in our new study,Â Good News: How the Four Gospels Point Us to One Person We Can TrustÂ starting November 13 in the free First 5 mobile app. Get an in-depth look at the differences and similarities of all four books in one study so you can gain a better understanding of the trustworthiness of Jesus.Â Click here to order your study guide!
It can feel frustrating when you've tried really hard to follow God and it's not working anymore. In fact, it hurts. But God isn't trying to hurt us; He's trying to help us. Check out this episode of The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast - "Have You Felt Frustrated With God?" - with our friend Ashley Morgan Jackson. Hear Ashley's story of wrestling with God, and learn how you can find relief when you are feeling fed up and forgotten. Click here to listen now!
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 23:4, "Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staffâthey comfort me" (CSB).
Are you in a dark valley right now? How does knowing the Lord is with you bring you comfort? How are you seeing Him show up even in this hard place?
We'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2023 by Dr. Joel Muddamalle. All rights reserved.