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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
August 22, 2015

[NOTE: This message was originally published August 23, 2003.]
The Lord's people may suffer a lot,
but he will always bring them safely through.

Psalm 34:19 (CEV*)
     The Spirit is the one who gives life! Human strength can do nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are from that life-giving Spirit.
John 6:63 (CEV*)
     Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks. We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.
Ephesians 6:10-13 (CEV*)

These three snippets from tomorrow's Common Lectionary readings give a powerful message. In the first place, they recognize that disciples are not freed from suffering, but we do not face the suffering alone. God will be with us, and will bring us safely through, looked at from the standpoint of eternity.

Our own strength can do nothing. The Spirit gives life, and our strength comes from the Lord. We do not fight against people, but against spiritual forces of darkness. For this, we do not use the weapons of this world, but spiritual weapons - "the armor that God gives."

Dear friends, may we be confident that God will be with us no matter what we suffer. May we not try to rely on our own strength, but rather on the strength the Lord gives us. May we forsake this world's weapons, and arm ourselves with the spiritual weapons that God gives us. And, no matter how bad things seem in the short term from the world's perspective, may we have faith that God will bring us through and we will be standing firm in the end.

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2003, 2015 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 12-Sep-2015 22:06:26 EDT