Feeling Defeated?

Have you ever experienced something that made it look like God was nowhere around?  Even worse, in the battle of good vs. evil, does it appear evil has won?

There is an historical account of Israel fighting the Philistines in 1Samuel 5-7. The first time Israel went into battle against them, Israel was defeated. After much deliberation, Israel decides to bring the ark of the Lord with them into battle, reasoning that if God was with them, they would be victorious. Nevertheless, they are defeated again, only this time it was worse. In that battle, the Philistines capture the ark of the Lord and put it in their temple of Dagon. It appears God has been defeated and humiliated by the enemy.  However, this is not the end of the story.  God allowed them to be defeated and allowed the Philistines to capture the ark of the Lord.  He used these events as an opportunity to show His power to the Philistines and to bring Israel to repentance. Two days in a row, the Philistines went into their temple to find Dagon face down on the floor in front of the ark of the Lord, the second time with its hands cut off. 🙂  The Philistines became fearful of God and the ark of the Lord was eventually returned to Israel.  The reason Israel had been defeated is because they had allowed the false gods of other nations into their lives. In the end, Israel cries out to God.  They confess their idolatry, remove and destroy the false gods and return to worship the one true God. God then defeated the Philistines and restored to Israel all they had lost.  There are such good lessons found here.  First and foremost, things are usually not as they appear and we should trust God regardless of the circumstances. I recognize that it is easier to say that, than to do it.  However, when things happen that we don’t understand, It’s important that we think about the faithfulness of God and his nature, which should lead us to the conclusion that we can trust Him.  I think another lesson learned here is that we should routinely examine our hearts and lives to see if we have allowed sin to create a stronghold in any area of our life. Remember, God is love, He is faithful, but He is also Holy and Sovereign.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  Proverbs 9:10  Let’s pray today and ask God to reveal these things to us.  “Search me, oh God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24   If you are struggling today and you have examined your life and find you are in right standing with the Lord, don’t give up.  You can trust that He is at work and He will give you the strength to endure.  The apostle Paul put it this way,  “We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-10 

Listen to song: https://youtu.be/xCpVJ4hUO6s

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