Weekend Thought by Peter Avery

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Each time I write something for this column, I ask “Lord, what shall I write? What is it that you want to say?”

This time, I am not too sure how much of this is how I am feeling, or how much is from God, that’s for you to decide.

We as a nation, along with the rest of the world, are facing some tough times, just like our forefathers faced.

So, with this in mind, I ask myself, what has changed? The answer is: not much.

When Paul the apostle wrote his letter to the church in Ephesus, he knew they were to face some unprecedented hardship. So to encourage them, he reminds them of the Lord’s strength and writes. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and the power of his might.”

It is just like Paul knew how they must have been feeling. Quaking in their boots, believing their enemies (whether a sickness or any other type of problem) to be so strong and themselves so weak, so numerous while they were so few.

Much in the same way as a distraught soldier who runs trembling to his foxhole at the first rumour of an attack and refuses to come out until all threat of danger has passed.

What Paul advises is a timeless answer for those disabling conditions suffered by every believer since the time of Adam. So it applies to us today as much as it applied to the young church in Ephesus: don’t let your fears overwhelm you.

In France during August 1918, one of the last battles of World War One was fought. After a loss of around 8,000 men in just nine hours of fighting, a small group of British soldiers pushed the German lines back some 13 kilometres on one front, engulfing five German divisions and taking some 13,000 prisoners.

But only a few came back from that battle.

They had marched ahead with the courage knowing that the victory in battle was to be theirs. Just as those soldiers knew the outcome of their battle by their sheer determination and resolve, the great consolation for all believers is to know that the outcome of any battle we may face rests with God.