By Lance Cordle
Recently, my wife and I set up a bird feeder in a different part of the yard from the section we had used previously. A cold front was on its way and we set the feeder up before its arrival. Following the placement of the feeder, we watched to see if the birds would find it in time to take advantage of it during the frigid temperatures. As I watched some of the birds gathering in the vicinity of the feeder, I kept saying to myself (because the birds could not hear or understand me), “Look up!” I knew the source of their nourishment and strength was within their reach, and that they needed to see it and fly up to it.
It seems to me that there is a similar situation when it comes to people and their spiritual strength. The Psalmist confidently affirmed, “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). However, not everyone feels the same way, and not everyone takes advantage of the strength available, even if they know about it.
Followers of God would do well to remember the main point of one of the most famous incidents/stories in the Bible. As young David arrived at the scene of an impending battle, he was surprised and dismayed to know that the army of Israel, and in turn, the God of Israel were being defied by their enemy. It is interesting to notice that the English word “defy” or a form of it is used at least four times in the seventeenth chapter of 1 Samuel, (English Standard Version) and is in reference to the actions of the giant Goliath. When David heard of the taunts of the enemy, he was quick to defend the LORD and assert that a victory over Goliath could and would come through God Almighty. Before he killed Goliath, David made it clear where his faith was placed and delivered a detailed summary of what he was sure would happen to the Philistine, when he concluded, “For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand” (1 Samuel 17:47).
When we are tempted to be discouraged and sure of defeat, we must remember to look up—to the same God who delivered David and others from physical and spiritual peril. The Lord has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). In a masterfully worded rhetorical question, the divinely inspired apostle Paul asked, “If God be for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31). Who, indeed?
Our obstacles are real: discouragement, lust, anger, jealousy, unbelief, to name a few. They can be overcome—but we must look up!
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalms 121:1, 2).
- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com