Even the most grounded among us can encounter storms that threaten to capsize our faith, moments that feel like battles waged in the silence of our hearts and the depths of our minds. Life has a way of hurling curveballs at us, sending unexpected adversities our way. It can be overwhelming, but this is not a call to retreat or surrender. Instead, it’s a beckoning to turn towards God, to “cast all your cares upon the Lord,” and remember that God is in control. God is the ultimate strategist, the divine general, who will guide us through even the darkest of valleys.
Let us reflect on King Jehoshaphat who we find in the 20th chapter of 2nd Chronicles. He was no stranger to challenging circumstances, and his reign offers us valuable wisdom. In times of peril, he didn’t despair. He drew his people together, praying and fasting, rehearsing God’s promises, and lifting his voice in praise.
There is an immense power in praise, my friends. It’s a balm for our weary souls, a weapon against our internal and external battles. Begin your day with thanksgiving and praise, acknowledging God’s faithfulness, declaring: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord.”
As Jehoshaphat did, let us tear down any idols in our lives that obstruct our relationship with God. Tear down pride, tear down jealousy, tear down materialism. If it is obstructing your relationship with God, tear it down, for the battle is not yours, but the Lord’s.
Consider this: life isn’t always a crystal stairway. There are dark corners, pitfalls, and traps set against us. Nevertheless, the Word of the Lord to you today is the same as it was for Jehoshaphat: “This battle is not yours, but it is the Lord’s.” Let that sink in. Lift up your head, your eyes, your hands, and your faith. God, our Waymaker, is fighting on your behalf. You are not alone.
Just as King Jehoshaphat faced formidable enemies, so do we. Yet, when faced with this adversity, he was not paralyzed by fear. Instead, he turned his attention and sought the Lord. It’s a potent reminder for us to turn to God in our battles, trusting God’s promises, seeking God’s wisdom, and relying on God’s power.
In conclusion, beloved, let’s keep our gaze steadfast on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Let us practice faithful, continuous prayer, displaying discipline, patience, and humility. We are embarking on a lifelong journey to practice self-control, embrace patience in God’s timing, and live according to God’s commands.
Remember, the battle is not ours. Let’s strive to stand victoriously under God’s power and do all we are called to do. So, say yes to faith, stand firm in the face of trials, and keep in mind that the battle is not yours, but the Lord’s. I urge you to hold on, persevere, and remember – the victory is ours, for we fight under the banner of a triumphant God.
In faith and victory,
Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr.