For the Days You Feel Defeated: Hope from Gideon’s Story
Some days can seem hurried, pressured, and tense. We know God’s truth, we believe His goodness, and yet we still find ourselves struggling, minds racing, before our feet even touch the floor in the morning.
Our focus gets blurred. We start listening to the lies of other voices that do more harm than good. The constant media headlines tell us how dark and broken our world is. Images and reminders all around us shout that we’re “not enough.” The enemy’s great at heaping on guilt, condemnation, and fear. The problems we face seem more like giants of impossibility than anything good that God can ever bring from it.
The truth is, some days we don’t feel like much of a strong warrior for God’s purposes. We just feel really weak. Afraid. Alone. Defeated.
But often, out of His goodness and grace, when we find ourselves right smack in the middle of huge feelings of defeat, God shows up strong.
"When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." Judges 6:12
Gideon certainly had no reason to feel strong, mighty, or anything like a warrior at that moment. He and his people were facing great suffering and defeat at the hand of the enemy. He doubted God was even with him. In fact, when the angel showed up, he was threshing his wheat in the pit of a winepress, not up on a hilltop where this was usually done. He was fearful and trying to keep hidden from view of the enemy who’d been raiding their land. Gideon questioned, "If God was with us, then why did this happen?"
Ever been there?
If God is really here, then why?
If God is really good, then when?
If God really cares, then how?
I love how God is so gracious, patient, loving, and kind - even with the questions, even after His people had turned their backs on Him. God still sends an angel to encourage, to strengthen, to remind Gideon and all of the Israelites that He is surely with them.
And yet even while staring straight into a heavenly messenger, Gideon continues to persist in defeated thoughts. He still questions, "But I am the weakest, I am the least...how can God save Israel?"
“And the Lord answered, ‘I will be with you...’" Judges 6:16
Five powerful words. That can see us through anything we face in this life.
“I will be with you.”
God's Presence is real. He gives us strength for every day. The battle can be intense. And some days especially, the enemy seems really strong, and we feel really weary. We can find ourselves wrestling again with the same defeated thoughts that we thought we'd finally laid to rest just the night before. Disappointments come. We struggle with feeling like we haven't measured up, we listen to the lies that we are "less than..."
But God still answers us. Just like He did for Gideon.
He sees "mighty" when we see "weak."
He sees victory when we see defeat.
He gives hope, when we're filled with disappointment.
He's still with us, no matter how we might feel, or what struggles flood our thoughts. He is filling us with the power and grace of His Spirit, just enough for the day.
For this day.
A reminder for your heart, in whatever you might be facing,
"The Lord is with you...mighty warrior."
7 Verses of Strength:
"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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Cor. 12:9
"But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior..." Jer. 20:11
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Is. 41:10
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Josh. 1:9
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Ps. 27:1
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph. 3:17
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page,http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, hope-filled lives. Find her also at http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com and http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel.