We are one month into 2021 and… we are still here! I think all of us were holding our breath a little and wondering what else may happen, or how the year would start off. Last year taught us so much and made us a little hesitant to plan too far, but we do anticipate with hope. We are excited about the days ahead for our church and opportunities we have to become better in our mission of developing fully devoted followers of Jesus. We must keep that mission in front of us! It is God-given and filled with promise (Matthew 28:18-20).
This is also the time of year where most resolutions have failed or are beginning to slip according to the statistics and studies. If that has been the case for you, give yourself some grace and make Day 1 tomorrow. Failing, falling short of the goal, and missing the mark are a part of life as we know it. Now, we can’t make that an excuse to not do something or claim the title of “always a failure” on our life. But we must realize we are limited, and we are not perfect. Give yourself some grace.
I came across this little devotional thought that I think can help us live for today and plan for the tomorrows. It is from the “Yes I Will” devotion series put together by Vertical Worship. It is also a title of one of their songs you have probably sang with on the radio.
(This can also be found on the YouVersion Bible app under “Yes I Will.”)
Grace is on Our Side…
Pretending that there are no battles in life is a waste of time.
It is, however, a tool the enemy tries to use to get us to forget how to fight. After all, if there is no battle, this is no need for vigilance, warriors, or weapons. And that makes us unprepared, under trained, and without tools to fight.
Because the battles DO come. 2 Tim 2:3 says, “Join me in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” This implies that signing up with Jesus means our Christian walk will not be easy and that you will be required to fight.
God does not leave us weaponless or alone to fight. It is our responsibility to be prepared and to pick up the weapons that He provides us. Because if we are ready, He is paving the way with His grace. This grace gives us the things we do not deserve, like help and victory in the battles we face in our lives.
The tools we are given are many— most importantly, the strength of Christ in you. Quickly following are prayer, humility, the Word of God, forgiveness, confession of sins, God-fighting for you, refuge, boldness, and hope. Each of these are both promises and weapons we use in obedience of the Commander of the Army of the Lord. They offer tools for the offense of the battle and for use in the defense. They are often laying useless at the feet of Christian soldiers—instead of worn, comfortable and at the ready, in the hands of the infantry.
So, let’s agree that this battle is real! Let us fight together and see victory in the battles so that we can know that the Lord is real, and His provision for us in the fight can be counted on. Pick one of these weapons today and exercise it. Use it. Forgive your sister, confess your sin to the Lord, and move forward in forgiveness. Don’t let pride ruin your relationship with your boss; pray for the strength to follow through.
You don’t have to do all things today. Allow God to offer His grace to you in small ways that bring lasting change. Because as you see God fighting your battles for you and with you, you will discover another weapon that has power you never imagined. You will find thankfulness.
Thank God that His grace is on your side; thank Him for the strength for the refuge He offers. Your gratitude to Him will turn to praise of Him, and the enemy will have no choice but to flee before the power of praise in your life.
And then, your battle will transform. Grace is yours for the picking up in preparation. Grace will turn your battle into praise, and the ground will become firm beneath your feet as you follow Jesus into the battle.
Battles will come—Christian or not—but being a soldier of Christ Jesus gives you a place on the winning team. Likewise, Christ Jesus gives you victory in battles that seem too dark to fight. God will never leave you to fight alone. Use the tools, be prepared, be encouraged. Grace is on your side.
Here are some scriptures for you to dive into for more hope!
- 2 Timothy 2:3
- James 4:7-8
- Ephesians 6:11-14
- Zechariah 4:6
- John 16:23
- Joshua 23:10
Pastor Kurt Hoffman