“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you. They will march out against you from one direction but flee from you in seven directions.” Deuteronomy 28:7 (HCSB)
There are some who believe that following Jesus will ensure them a life free of conflict. To them, if you are having conflict in your spiritual life, there must be something wrong with your obedience to God. They will tell you that if you want to restore your personal peace, you should get back on track with Jesus. That’s not necessarily so.
Sure, there are times when we have to deal with the consequences of our willful sin. But not every hardship is a result of faithlessness. As a matter of fact, some hardship is directly from the Lord and should be considered a blessing. The peace that God provides His children does not always come in the form of the absence of conflict. Oftentimes, His “shalom” comes in the form of peace in the midst of conflict.
Prior to entering the land of Canaan, Moses emboldened the people and exhorted them to have courage when the enemy attacked. Remember: the Enemy is always prowling, preparing to attack, and he pounces whether we are ready or not.
Who is our enemy? Is it not the Devil, the World, and the Flesh?
If you are seeking the absence of conflict, you will be very disappointed. Conflict will come whether you are a Christian or not. When most people say they want “Peace,” what they really mean is that they want “Victory.” But you cannot have Victory without a battle/conflict! Each experienced victory builds towards a “stockpile of peace,” or HOPE that the Lord will resolve future conflict. Victory builds upon victory. (James 1)
Growing in faith doesn’t necessarily mean that we will eliminate conflict. It could mean that God is growing us so we can be faithful through even greater future conflict. It is all for His glory because each victory is His.
You will never live victorious until you trust the Lord and face conflict head-on. (Proverbs 3:5-6) God’s Word does not ensure the absence of conflict, but it does ensure victory through it.
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