Don’t cry over spilt milk.” “Shake it off, you are fine.” “Suck it up buttercup.” These are all phases I was raised with and subsequently raised my daughter with.
My mom was never a petting kind of mom. Her goal, as she has often told us, was to teach us to survive anything. And she did.
I was thinking about this today when the Lord reminded me of an all too familiar scripture.
It is found in Isaiah 41.
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. (Isaiah 41:10 Amplified)
We are all thankful when God strengthens us, however, do we realize He also hardens us to difficulties?
Each of us will go through battles and challenging times, sometimes God immediately delivers us. However, my personal experience has not been that. For me, it is always a process, one that God walks me through.
Most of the time, I feel like it is something I can’t possibly walk through, but walk through I do, every single time. God has never failed me.
Not only do I come through, but I learn so much in the process. My most valuable lessons have come through times of difficulty and times of struggle.
Psalm 18:34-36 says, “He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip.”
God teaches us to war so we can hit our target. Yet, we can’t learn to war without a battle.
In that battle, He gives us a shield, which is His salvation. That means what Jesus did at the cross is our shield, our protection from fiery darts. It is the force that stops every dart of the enemy, if we will only apply it.
He holds us up and clears the path, so we don’t slip. His love, His gentleness makes us able to overcome every enemy.
Yes, sometimes I think it would be great if God immediately delivered us from every hardship, but if He did, we would never learn to war. We would become a weak church and that is not what God intended us to be. Therefore, warring is something we must learn.
We have an enemy, one we can’t shrink back from. One Jesus has overcome for us. Its up to us to enforce that victory.
It’s not always going to come easy – many times it will be beyond what we think we can handle. But with God, all things are possible, and nothing is impossible.
In Christ, we have overcome. That is a truth that is forever settled. May we always remember that.
We are the Body of Christ. We cannot shrink back from the battle that is going on in our nation. We cannot avoid the war that is trying to take our kids and grandkids. We must not give the enemy one inch. In Christ, we have the victory – will we enforce it? I hope so.
May God teach our hands to war. May He harden us to difficulty. May we enforce every victory Jesus gained for us…it is, after all, our inheritance.