Courage and Patience in Suffering
Don’t allow the title to cause you to stop reading. There is a battle to be fought. Prayer is the battlefield and the victory comes through faith. I declare over each covenant keeper that you have a spirit of a warrior deep inside. The devil is afraid of you because he recognizes the Holy Spirit within you. He has been defeated and he knows it. You will, however, be tested by him to see if you know this truth.
Referencing a “warrior spirit,” Retired U.S Army Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin speaking to military couples at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove said, “God is not done with you. He’s not going to leave you. He called you to be a warrior. Because you’re missing parts or because you’re struggling with a traumatic brain injury does not mean that you are not still a warrior or that you can’t still be used in God’s Kingdom. Make a commitment to do your very best to live for Christ, because God wants to use you, and this country needs you to be a warrior.” Change that thought from “missing parts or because you’re struggling with traumatic brain injury” to “going through separation and divorce” and know that you are needed as a warrior, but read on…
In recent months I have read numerous headlines as many of our American historic national monuments have been removed from public view. Most, but not all of these monuments are connected to the Civil War. In an article appearing in The New York Times on October 9, 2017 written by an op-ed contributor, John M. Viola, one statement really stood out:
“Respect for historical monuments should not signify blind acceptance of the values and judgments of past societies; rather, they should be instructive tools in our quest to understand our history and use it to better meet the challenges of the present. If we allow uncontrolled tearing down of memorials or unilateral reinterpretation of American history, then we will be damaging our democracy by limiting vigorous debate on our history, with all its beauty and blemishes.”
I believe there is a lesson for covenant keepers in this statement as well as a perspective on our American history. Our history can be used to “better meet the challenges of the present.” I am reminded of the scripture in Revelation 12:11 in which John is talking about the heavenly war between Michael and his angels and the dragon (Satan). The Kingdom of God has come and the devil has been defeated because, “They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Christ, the great Angel of the covenant, and his faithful followers facing Satan and all his instruments. Satan may seem far superior in number and outward strength, but the strength of the church lies in having the Lord Jesus as the Captain of our salvation. The two things that will conquer the devil are the blood of the Lamb and our (the one true church) testimony.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible referencing this verse states, “By the word of their testimony, as the great instrument of war, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,—by a resolute powerful preaching of the everlasting gospel, which is mighty, through God, to pull down strongholds,—and by their courage and patience in sufferings; they loved not their lives unto the death, when the love of life stood in competition with their loyalty to Christ; they loved not their lives so well but they could give them up to death, could lay them down in Christ’s cause; their love to their own lives was overcome by stronger affections of another nature; and this their courage and zeal helped to confound their enemies, to convince many of the spectators, to confirm the souls of the faithful, and so contributed greatly to this victory.”
I don’t believe that I have ever prayed for courage and patience in suffering. However, I do believe that as I began to pray that God would change my heart of stone and make it into a heart of flesh, He knew I would suffer and thus He gave me courage and patience. I believe that this fact needs to become part of my spoken and written testimony.
President Eisenhower once explained the purpose of war memorials during a speech commemorating the centennial of the battle of Gettysburg. He said, “War was America’s most tragic experience. But like most truly great tragedies, it carries with it an enduring lesson and a profound inspiration. It was a demonstration of heroism and sacrifice by men and women of both sides who valued principle above life itself and whose devotion to duty is a part of our nation’s noblest tradition.
A testimony is the story of what happened in the past. As a covenant keeper you are valuing a principle and are devoted to a duty because you understand that marriage is a covenant. Your testimony is a recap of what God has done – He gets the glory. Hopefully, it is the whole story – the good, the bad and the ugly. If we don’t tell the bad and the ugly, no one can see from whence the good came. It came from a changed heart. It came because God is good and He is also a very big God and He loves us. He loves us too much to leave us the way we were. Our story combined with “the blood of the lamb” can and will defeat Satan. Before a restored marriage appears in our natural world all of us should be speaking of how Jesus has changed our hearts and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, has helped us become the wife/husband He always intended us to be.
Wow! Think on this. In the end we will be part of the army that finally kicks the devil into the lake of fire. Now go tell someone your testimony!