Monday, March 7, 2016

New Mercies For The Battle Weary

"New Mercies"
Acrylic painting on canvas board by Kathryn L. Berkowitz 2016

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:19-26

Have you ever been through something that really left you feeling defeated, reeling with feelings of disillusionment, confusion, betrayal, or grief? 

There are some things that are beyond our ability to process on our own. 
We need a grid to interpret these experiences. 
I believe it is essential to understand that we are at war. 
We are in a spiritual battle for our lives. 

God is with us and has given us the armor of God and spiritual weapons of warfare to pull down strongolds. 
These strongholds are arguments, pretensions, philosophies or reasonings that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. 
We can take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. 
In other words, we can judge an argument, thought or pretense by how it compares with the truth in God's Word. 

The armor of God consists of these things:

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, 
with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6: 10-17

Every new morning, God's mercies are new and with that He bestows grace to begin again. 
Battle weary saint, you are precious to God and His mercies, ever enduring love, faithfulness and compassion can pick you up, dust you off, heal your wounds and give you courage for a new season. You have a future and a hope!

 I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 
I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.
Jeremiah 29:10-13

He will bring us back from captivity!

But here's the thing. Don't go out to battle without your armor or your spiritual weapons. 
Don't take on battles that don't belong to you. 
Wait on Him. Wait quietly on Him. Hope in Him. 

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13 & 14