Spiritual Warfare Day 5: Our Relief in Spiritual Warfare
Talking about war, particularly after the past few years of chaos and uncertainty, is not comfortable. We all are desperately longing for peace in our hearts, our families, our communities, our nation, and our world. Preparation for intense conflict with no foreseeable end inevitably makes us anxious. We cannot help but ask, When will this end? Will we ever be able to rest?
We may not have an answer to these questions in terms of earthly battles, but we can confidently answer them regarding our spiritual war with the enemy. Our conflict with the devil and his forces of evil will end when we die or when the Lord calls us home to Heaven. In either case, God has assured believers that there is an eternal rest awaiting them in glory with Christ. War will be over, enemies will be gone, and we will live at peace under the loving rule of our rightful King.
Until that day comes, we have unfettered access to our Prince of Peace. We can cling to the encouraging words we find in Scripture. We can pray to our Father anytime and anywhere. We can lean on godly friends and mentors who offer us fellowship rooted in love and truth. Most importantly, we can tell ourselves the gospel story over and over again, reminding our weary hearts that, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, Christ came for us. While we were broken with sin, He came to bind up our wounds and offer free forgiveness. While we were isolated and separated from God, He came to bring reconciliation.
We fight this spiritual war in the power of the victory Christ has already won for us. We are loyal to our Captain because He has only ever been faithful to us. As we wrestle with feelings of anxiety or despair, we run to our Hope and remember that real rest is coming. Here are a few of many encouraging texts from Scripture that offer a refreshing glimpse at the rest the Lord offers to believers:
- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, ESV)
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)
- Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27, ESV)
Brothers and sisters, our great God—the Creator of the universe, the mighty King of kings—is at our side as we fight. Every day, every night, every hour, every minute. When circumstances are at their worst, we can trust Him to be present with us as our Protector and our Source of Peace. Despite the schemes and attacks of darkness, we forge forward with the Light of the World as our north star. Soon we shall see our Savior, and even our weakest efforts for the glory of His Name and the advancement of His Kingdom will be worth far more than we can imagine today.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing…. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-11, 13-24, ESV)