I am NOT talented or gifted in anything muscial, but this morning I started singing FIGHT SONG to my husband as he shared with me what God is teaching him about joy. Lawrence has been listening to John Piper, reading C.S. Lewis quotes, searching the Scriptures, asking other people to share their thoughts and experiences, and doing a lot of praying as he prepares to speak in church this weekend. His topic as we continue on the Advent calendar is JOY.
Only problem, my husband has been in a valley lately. He wasn't feeling joyful. Things were not rainbows and roses. More like storm clouds and thorns. Some things at work have been stressful. Changes at church have taken a toll. And we just had a baby, so the whole not sleeping very well has worn on him as welltoo. Being tired doesn't really tend to help someone overflow with joy. Rather, fatigue is better at robbing you of joy. Or at least trying its best to do so...
THAT is when you have to FIGHT back, FIGHT FOR JOY.
As my husband and I discussed this morning, sitting on the floor in the doorway between our bedroom and bathroom, joy doesn't just happen. You have to FIGHT for it. DAILY. Heck, if we're honest it's an on-going battle. That NEVER stops. It continuously rages in our soul. For our hearts and minds are the battle ground. We're not fighting against flesh and blood, but rather our enemies are the powers and principalities of the unseen world. The war may be invisible, but it is not imaginary. Oh no, it is very, very, very real.
Satan wants nothing more than for us to give up the fight.
To grow weary of doing good.
To throw in the towel.
To think our work has been in vain.
To turn our back.
To sit this one out.
To keep quiet.
To play it safe.
We are not made for any of that, however.
We are warriors. Ambassadors. Soldiers. Messengers. World changers.
We have NOT been given a spirit of fear or timidty, but of POWER.
We are armed with strength, not of our selves, but of the GOD who created and now sustains the universe. The same God who threw the planets into orbit, knows the number of hairs on our heads, and raised Jesus back to life - that God is at work within us.
We are NOT quitters or losers.
We ARE winners. FIGHTERS.
We are MORE than overcomers.
We have already been declared victorious.
And THAT is reason for celebration.
Still, joy doesn't fall in our laps. Oh how I wish it was that easy. But, as my husband and I reminded each other this morning, we have to FIGHT for joy.
And fight we will.
We will fight for our marriage.
We will fight for our family.
We will fight for our girls.
We will fight for our church community.
We will fight for the plans and purposes God has for us.
We will fight for our dreams.
We will fight for HIS kingdom.
When you decided to fight, you must be prepared to go through the dark valleys, to fall into the muck and mire, to climb the steep mountains, to wait in silence, to push through whatever obstacles may come your way.
THIS would be why fighting solo is NOT advised.
You need a partner. Someone to have your back, and you to have theirs.
You will need support, encouragement, and all kinds of help along the way.
Don't fight alone.
You are never asked to, thank goodness!
God places you in community. Stand side by side with them. Shields up. We are better - stronger - together. In deed, ONLY as we come together can we fight well.
Fighting in fellowship is good, but know what's even better?
Having GOD fight with you, FOR you.
No way we would be able to come out on top without Him on our side, down in the trenches with us. And that's exactly where He is!
Don't know about you, but I just took a huge sigh of relief over here.
As I put on my armor and stand to fight, linking arms with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I find GREAT comfort in knowing the Lord of heaven's armies is fighting for us, FOR ME.
If God Himself is fighting for me, does that not prove I am worth fighting for?
That my hopes and dreams are worth fighting for?
YES, yes it does.
Listen again to Rachel Platten's words...
You may be a small boat on an ocean, BUT you can make big waves.
You may feel like you only have a single word, BUT even that can make a heart open.
You may think you're just one match, BUT you can make an explosion.
Stop believing the enemy's lies.
You ARE enough.
You ARE worth it.
You CAN fight. And win.
So join me.
Starting right now, I'll be strong.
My power's turned on.
I have a fire burning in my bones!
I don't know about you, but as for me...
I've got a lot of fight left in me!
Can you hear my voice?
THIS is my FIGHT SONG.
My take back my life song!
Speaking of life...
Jesus came to give us ABUNDANT life.
The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
Do NOT let him.
Did you know we are promised that as we fight the devil, he WILL flee? Yep!
He has NO power over us. NONE.
Unless we give it to him.
Instead, FIGHT back.
And watch him run, tail tucked between his legs.
Problem is, he usually comes back.
Time and time and time and time again.
This fight for joy, for peace, for hope, for LIFE is long and tiring.
But oh so worth it.
Do you realize what GREAT REWARD we have coming?!
And if that isn't enough, we are also promised the crown of life...
AND the crown of glory...
So, how about it?
Will you join me and FIGHT FOR JOY?