West and Central Africa
Standing Strong in God Through Challenging Circumstances
Part 6 in a series // Jesus’ Blood, Our Story, Our Perspective by Lisa Hall
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Revelation 12:11
This year I’ve been sharing with you approaches that are helpful to me in standing strong in God through challenging circumstances:
seeing difficulty as God’s way of making us holy, having an accurate view of God and myself, pursuing an intimate relationship with God, choosing joy and finding hope through godly community. The last few I’d like to share come from Revelation 12:11 – Jesus’ blood, our story of what God has done in our lives and our perspective on life.
For truth to be effective in our lives, we need to know what is true, to internally embrace the truth and then to act upon it. Understanding the value of the blood of Jesus is not intellectual knowledge. It is essentially personal. Without it, I was trapped in my sin as Satan’s prisoner.
But Jesus came to the cross on my behalf to pay the penalty for my sin. He ransomed and rescued me (1 Pet. 1:18-19). His blood cleanses me of my sin (1 John 1:7). Satan continues to lie and accuse me, but I can now stand strong in the truth that I belong to God as his precious daughter. Jesus’ blood changed my life forever!
There is power in the blood of Jesus and in his name. And as we stand in the truth of that power (Eph. 6), God defeats our enemies. This truth is powerfully sung by Chris McClarney in Hallelujah for the Cross. twr.org/hallelujah
Recently my younger son, Brandon, was commissioned by his local church as a full-time missionary to serve with TWR. It touched me deeply as I watched the elders lay hands on Brandon, pray spiritual blessing into his life and send him off to do the work to which God had called him. This was immediately followed by a panel discussion. Every panelist had a secular job, yet each one shared that they felt called by God and sent by this local body of Christ to go into their workplaces with the purpose of bringing the message and hope of Christ. There was an intentionality in their lives to live like Jesus and love those around them.
There is such power in sharing our stories. It strengthens us and those who hear it. How are you sharing your story of God’s work in your life with those around you?
Following Jesus is costly. Lately I have been challenged in reading Hearts of Fire: Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith by Voice of the Martyrs (find it at persecution.com/heartsoffire). I read the stories of these modern-day courageous women who are living out and defending their faith. In living for Jesus, they are experiencing much persecution and oppression, yet also much strength. I wonder, “Would I be that faithful to God in the face of danger and suffering?” How about you? From where do you draw your strength when facing difficulty?
The Father is calling us to come close to him – to draw strength, courage and protection from him. It is in this place of intimacy with God that we can live in the power of the blood of Christ, share our story and follow Christ no matter what the cost. He will strengthen us to stand strong in him in every circumstance!