When you are battling something in life.... God has your back.
““Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.” (2 Chronicles 32:7–8, NLT)
A wise man, looking back on his life, once commented; “Life is a series of battles. When born, you battle to survive. When young, you battle to learn, to grow, to thrive. When in middle age, you strive to reproduce, to raise your young, to keep your family safe, to build a home. Some may even enter the battlefield as a soldier and fight another. When you are older and feebler, you battle against disease and the difficulties of aging. Even in the last moments of your life, you battle death. Life is a series of battles… some intense, some in your mind, some in your body, some in your world.”
Spiritually, the same occurs. There will be spiritual battles that you face from the moment you are born until the moment you die. These battles may not be as apparent to you, but they will affect your life in the greatest of ways. Some who lose spiritual battles end up with lifelong addictions. Those who are losing spiritual battles may live with greed, overeat, deal with anxiety, or have psychological traumas and illnesses. Spiritual battles not only affect the body but ultimately affect the soul. Some who lose spiritual battles end up with a soul that is shriveled up and dead. Others who win spiritual battles will end up knowing forgiveness, grace, true joy, and a “peace that the world cannot give” (John 14:27). Spiritual battles affect the mind in great and powerful ways. A person who is losing a spiritual battle may slip into a deep depression or become suicidal. A person who is winning a spiritual battle by the grace of God will feel a deep sense of closeness to God in Christ, feel healing and hope and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
There was an old saying common among soldiers of World War 2: “There are no atheists in foxholes”. They were not using this expression to say that an atheist can never be found in the theater of war. Rather, they were commenting on the fact that many people in war found that the only one they could rely on for anything enduring is God. I find it very interesting that military battles often make a soldier confront his spiritual side. Some people caught on a worldly battlefield will look to God for deliverance. In the same way, spiritual battles have a way of causing humans to seek out God. Don’t underestimate the power of a battle in your life to not only define you but to point you to God. That is why people who face great difficulties in life often can be some of the most intensely spiritual of souls.
Some of the most famous people of the Bible dealt with great difficulties, challenges, and battles. Job fought with Satan, and almost all his children to an early death. Jeremiah was placed in chains and forced to march off to Egypt. King David faced war, threats of death from King Saul, and even an uprising led by his own son. He, too, lived with multiple deaths of those close to him. Joseph faced slavery. Ruth dealt with the death of her husband and the loss of her home. Esther lived in exile. Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into a furnace of fire and expected to die but lived. The disciples faced death on a boat caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Peter and Paul were thrown into prison. On and on, the people in the Bible faced tremendous challenges and battles. The main difference between Biblical heroes versus the Biblical villains is that Biblical heroes not only found God in their life battles; they trusted completely in God’s salvation and providence.
In the scripture for today found in 2 Chronicles 32, King Hezekiah of Judah faces a great enemy in Assyria. At the time this was written, Assyria was a world power with vast and powerful armies. Even the great kingdoms of Egypt feared Assyria greatly and lost to Assyria multiple times in battle. At the time of King Hezekiah, Assyria came to attack Jerusalem. Everyone involved knew that the Assyrian armies not only had surrounded Jerusalem but had many more troops and much advanced technology. What the Assyrian armies did not have was a trust and love of our God. As the day of battle between the Judeans and Assyrians came close, the people of Jerusalem were frightened. In 2 Chronicles 32: 7-8, King Hezekiah of Judah gives the people hope with these words: “Don’t be afraid or discouraged… there is a far greater power on our side…they are merely men….We have the Lord God to fight our battles for us!” Not long after these words were spoken, a great pestilence struck the Assyrian armies. Scripture records that angels utterly decimated the Assyrian army. They never conquered Jerusalem.
Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem were up against terrible odds. Their chance of victory was almost nothing. Yet, they had God on their side, and they won on the day of battle. There is no battle that the Lord cannot win. There is no adversary to compete with God Almighty.
If you are a servant of God and a believer in Jesus, you are on God’s side. Whether you are facing small or large battles right now in your life, God is with you. You will not fight alone! There is no battle God cannot win. However, you will need to be in the fight in order to win. You need to face your demons in order to be healed. You need to remain strong and courageous in the spiritual fight. King Hezekiah knew that the people of Jerusalem needed to be spiritually strong in order to win on the battlefield in that day.
What battles are you facing in this period of your life? Is there a fight looming? If God is with you in this fight, you have the backing of the greatest power in the universe and beyond. As Hezekiah said, “Do not be afraid or discouraged… we have the Lord God to fight our battles for us!” Shore up your spiritual strength with prayer. Be a true servant of the Lord. Trust in God throughout your fights. Lean on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and direction. God will see you through to where you need to be.