I have to admit that the past couple months of 2016 have been pretty rough. I found myself in more than one situation where I was surrounded by negativity, unfairness, betrayal and just flat out lies. Whenever my world is crashing down I find myself dialing the same number. On the other line is one of my oldest friends who I have volunteered to be my accountability partner when it comes to my faith (she doesn’t seem to mind).
I shared everything I was going through and the next day she sent me a link. It was to a sermon by Joel Osteen called You Have a Defender. I had never listened to Joel before (usually I stick to my pastor JD’s podcasts which I recommend you check out), but the man made some good points.
Somehow along the way I had shifted my focus from God to my problems. The book of Psalms is sprinkled with promises that the Lord is our defender, our helper, and that he will fight our battles for us. In the sermon Joel points to multiple stories where people like David, Daniel, Joseph, Mordechai and Nehemiah were met with criticism and persecution. Their situations appeared hopeless but in the end God delivered them to a place here theywere even better than when they started. And none of these men did a thing to change the situation, except rely on God to handle it.Joel suggests that these negative comments and insults are distractions to lure us off-course. That the “good fight” isn’t proving people they’re wrong about us but instead is keeping our eyes on God.
The truth is that at the end of the day if we are Christians we believe we have a purpose and a calling, to witness to others about God and glorify Him. Our time is too limited and our assignment too great to get involved in these battles that ultimately aren’t ours. At the end of the day those who are against us don’t control our future—God does.
If you find yourself in a defeating and unfair situation with coworkers, family or friends, I encourage you to listen to the full sermon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek6yYSVh6tI and read more verses like the ones below.
Psalm 119:114 – You are my defender and protector; I put my hope in your promise.
Pslam 18: – How I love you, Lord! You are my defender. The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe. I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies. Praise the Lord! The danger of death was all around me; the waves of destruction rolled over me.
Psalm 69 ( read through)
Deuteronomy 32:4- “The Lord is your mighty defender, perfect and just in all his ways; Your God is faithful and true; he does what is right and fair.