Day Two: Praise Challenge

SatanfindsJesus

One of my favorite scenes from Kung Fu Panda 2 is when Po, the Panda, discovers his inner peace and uses the power of it to take what his enemy has thrown at him – literally a ball of fire – and throw it right back.

As Women of God, our inner peace is not an achievement we have to work toward finding, but rather rests in Jesus Himself.  If He lives in us, He has made peace with God on our behalf, Romans 5:1 says.  The same chapter goes on to remind us that, since He has made peace between us and God, that peace ought to be undisturbed by any sufferings we encounter in our lives.  So much so, verse 3 says, that we are actually encouraged to boast in our sufferings, knowing that they are accomplishing for us more than they could possibly take away from us.

Did you catch that?  To boast means to brag about something you consider valuable.  Can you imagine for a moment actually telling someone else about your pain and suffering – not with complaints, but with an attitude that communicates your understanding and excitement about their value?

Elsewhere in Scripture, we are told to rejoice in our trials and sufferings, because of all the good they are bringing to our lives.  in 1 John 4:18, we are reminded that God’s perfect love, shed within our hearts, is at work casting out any fear of being punished.  In other words, because we are believers, anything that touches our life, no matter how fierce it may be, can be received with the confidence that God – in His perfect love – will take every fiery arrow and use it to train us as warriors.  Whatever the enemy hurls at us, God will teach us to aim right back at the gates of hell.

This means that, rather than being able to wound or destroy us, our enemy (which is Satan, by the way, and not the messenger he happens to be using) will be confounded to find that his greatest weapons will become the proof of God’s power within us.  We will go through the fire, alright, but we will come out the other side not even smelling like smoke.  Instead, we will encounter the presence of God in that fire as we’ve never encountered Him before, and we will emerge with new strength, greater faith, and much less fear.

With Christ, and in “all these things” (tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, danger….so, all things difficult), we are more than conquerors, the Word of God tells us in Romans 8:35-37. This means that every time we meet with something difficult and defeat the aims of the enemy to destroy us, by remaining in God’s love, we conquer the intentions of hell.

And every time we meet with something difficult, and choose to walk through it rather than avoid it – trusting God to bring some kind of good out of it – we turn the weapons of the enemy into weapons of the Kingdom.  Those fiery arrows become tools which enrich our lives and our faith and cause us to become more deeply rooted in Christ.  Instead of destroying us, they prepare us and propel us deeper into God’s grace and love.  This is more than conquering.  This is not only defeating your enemy, but turning on him the very things which he has sent against you, and using it to glorify God – which he hates more than anything.  This is more than striking down your enemy; this is enslaving him and making him work for God’s purposes in your life.

So be bold in your praise today.  Whatever life or the devil may send your way, look it straight in the face and declare, with your praise, “Right Back Atcha!”  Together, we will conquer. Together we will see God’s glory arise from whatever fire comes near our dwelling places. Believe with me, and direct your praise to the Heavens!


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