I’ve heard it again and again. The Christian life is not a playground, but a battle field.
It seems that daily there are battles to fight. In the days when depression plagued me, I battled hopelessness. These days in various areas of my life I battle discouragement and fear on a regular basis.
In relationships I battle to maintain a loving attitude as I face rejections.
Recently I was reminded by the Lord that He fights my battles for me as I cooperate with Him.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV
The vast army in this verse is a literal army, but in my life the vast army can be negative thoughts or destructive mindsets.
Yet in the midst, He intervenes to give me courage when I’m discouraged and faith when fear threatens to take over.
The thought that came to mind not long ago is that if I hold on to bitterness, I block God from fighting battles for me. Bitterness not only affects my relationship with people, but also with the Lord. I let bitterness guide me, instead of the Lord.
I was reminded of this as I counseled a friend to let go of bitterness in her marriage as she battled hopelessness in regard to its survival.
As I spoke to her, I examined my own life and asked God to help me with that very issue in my own relationships.
Bitterness is the sin that trips me up often. Others sin against me and instead of being gracious and merciful, I’m tempted toward bitterness. Sometimes I don’t even realize that it’s residing in my heart until I suddenly lash out.
Some days I falsely believe that I will win battles in relationships if I just maintain my bitterness. The lie that has tempted me is that it’s my forgiveness that keeps people sinning against me again and again.
God’s Word has something to say about bitterness.
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:15 ESV
The conclusion I come to as I look at this verse is that bitterness blocks God’s grace, which I need to win the battles in my life.
Today and in the days I ahead, I want to let go of bitterness and allow God to fight battles for me, so I can have victory in relationships and give a loving response—no matter what, like Jesus did.
I’m grateful that God never leaves me alone to fight—that the most powerful being in the universe is on my side and by my side and wants me to have victory.
Lord, I praise You in advance for the victory that is mine in every battle that I face.
“Battles” by The Afters