War.

I was fighting a raging battle in my head all day.

Actually, I didn’t realize it until this morning but there’s been a cloud hanging over me the past couple of weeks. Increasingly so. Not that there’s a real reason for it. It’s just been this cloud of lethargy, of that “meh” feeling, of that occasionally sad feeling, of negativity.

It culminated in tears this morning when I finally acknowledged it.

Followed by declaring His joy and hope over it. Recognizing that this is merely another fight, another battle in a string of many. For before every breakthrough, there’s a struggle.

 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV)

Perhaps it’s a case of arrogance – I’ve always seen myself as one of those people who just face tough times knowing that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Aware that I can be secure in the truth of His goodness and His unwavering assurance.

Perhaps it’s my folly – asking the Father to examine my heart once again. (Yeah I did say folly.)

So it’s 2 in the afternoon and I’m sat in my room having cried my eyes out and feeling worn out from waging war against this spirit of despair – let’s just call it that for now. It has been intervals of tears with declaration of God’s Word. Messy stuff, this relationship with God.

It feels like I’m genuinely in a war, as I spoke His truth and His promises in this battle that has been declared upon my heart and mind. For we know the Devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Spiritual warfare is not a concept, it is real and we need to be armed with His truth.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joyfor you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

(1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV)

But then I’m reminded that how we overcome our struggles encourages ohers. That my own battles can build up others, that these experiences can inspire hope. Our struggles are not merely our own, they’re for each other.

Whatever storm we find ourselves in, the best part is knowing that we are not alone. He is with us in the fire; He is with us in the storm.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[a] about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

(2 Corinthians 1:3-11 NIV)

Jesus faced the same human emotions, the same turmoil – yet He triumphed. He lived his time on Earth knowing that He will have to give it all up, His closeness with the Father, for us.

Love compelled Him to take on the Cross. Love won. Love always wins.

In that instant at Calvary, every chain… every struggle… every pain… they were all written off forever in His Name.

I’m still dazed. Probably just tired from all that. But I come away from this assured that the source of my hope, joy and peace is my Constant. And I’m just so thankful that I am loved.

And you are too.

“So I go deeper and deeper into Your grace / My heart gets higher and higher / I stand here amazed by the way You love me unconditionally.” (!Audacious Band)

The battle is real, but the victory is sure.

Suggested listening: In Christ Alone – Brian Littrell

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