I really love inspirational movies. One of my new favorites is “Churchill”. There’s not much action but there are moving speeches, lots of grit and determination despite failure.
This one man Churchill was able to take the fear, uncertainty and poverty of a terrible war and inspire a nation (and it’s allies) to press through every hardship and win.
Today, I sat with my coffee and read this verse (and I could almost hear Churchill’s voice reading it to me…picture a gruff, gravelly, deep throated roar…)
“Take care my friends, in case there should be found in you a heart that Which looks for evil and mischief, that which is unbelieving, full of uncertainty, lacking confidence in Christ’s power, not trusting God, so that you do not find yourself withdrawing and walking away from the living (who causes you to live) God.
ENCOURAGE (give courage to, give aid to, walk alongside) one another day after day, as long as it is still called today, so that none of you are made stubborn and disobedient by the lies and deceit of sin.
For we have become Kingdom-building-business partners of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our firm constancy and obedience to Him until the goal is reached.”
Hebrews 3:12-14 (with my own addition of Greek dictionary explanations).
When you are living through a war (let’s be honest- we might not be living in an actual physical war zone, but there’s plenty of war-like damage being done to our bodies, souls and minds) you can easily find yourself sliding into despair.
The daily facing of “crisis” can be come wearisome, and can wear you out.
And when you are worn out, tired of looking at “gray” and wondering when this will end, when help will come and what the future even holds, it is then that door of your mind and heart are open to whatever voice happens to be speaking.
I know this. I’ve been there many times. Old wounds that I felt I had championed resurrect, and I wonder why I am allowing my frustrations and insecurity to own me.
In those moments, I can wrestle with a heart that “is full of uncertainty, lacking confidence in Christ’s power.” And I find myself believing that the evil around me is stronger and greater than the living God (the one from where all life, love and power comes) who is within me.
No wonder this dichotomy of heart causes us to be tempted to “withdraw” from God.
He does not withdraw from us. He does not withhold good, or cease daily filling us with life and love.
It is not God who is at fault for our lack of confidence.
Churchill was famously called the “last lion” of Britain.
His speeches “roared” at the people- they were loud, audacious and solicited great emotion and action.
(For this, they call him a lion- can you imagine standing in front of a real lion, having him roaring in your face and not doing something about it?)
We have our own lion, roaring at us through the words of the scriptures.
Jesus, the lion of Judah.
Yes, his counterpart, Satan is also roaring. His lies are loud. His lies might be what motivate you to action. His roar is fearful, so you run.
But you stand in the middle of two lions, one who is Victorious, and calling you to His side, and one who is defeated, willing you to die.
For me, I picture myself right next to the Lion named Jesus, roaring at the people in the middle, calling them to His side. Reminding them they are loved. Telling them to come side where light is, for light triumphs over darkness. Fiercely wanting them to come and join with us in the truth.
Encourage; give courage, to each other day after day. Do not give up. Do not lose heart. Do not throw away complete and utter trust in God.
Find words in the scripture that ROAR BACK at the defeated lion.
For Jesus was faithful to us already, He already defeated death, evil and sin in the world and is only delaying His coming now so that more might come to see His faithfulness to them.
We have a plaque in our home that says: “Be a voice. Not an echo.”
It could read: “Be a roar. Do not be silent.”
My friends, today be that roar. Roar with the words of Jesus at your heart if it wavers. Roar at your kids, if they are weak and worried. Roar at your crisis. Roar at your spouse. Roar and do not be afraid.
It is not an easy road.
All struggle with uncertainty, because we have not seen fully.
But ALL are called to strengthen each other TODAY, because we ALL face another lion roaring at us.
Let us be and let us raise a generation that is not afraid of evil.
Let us not be overtaken by sorrow.
Let us not be the ones who give up.
Let us be filled with FIERCE determination to stand together as we HOLD FAST to knowing the truth- the Jesus has come, He has given us the way to victory, and He has broken every chain of sin that holds us bound.
One final thought, from our roaring example, Churchill:
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.