“The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2
Finding strength is something that a lot of people are searching for. They want the strength to make it through a difficult time. Many will look to things or methods to build up their physical strength. Energy drinks are commonly drank to help keep a person running for extreme amounts of time. Others will find strength in the encouragement given by friends and family, or in the hope of some promotion or recognition. While these may boost the strength for a moment, they are temporary and often will fail in the end.
Along with searching for strength, people will look for a defense. They want to be defended for their actions. The want to be protected because of their actions. People want to feel as though all of their actions were correct and be protected from the enemy by their own power.
As the Israelites were traveling out of Egypt, they were trapped between Pharaoh’s armies and the Red Sea. God in His power and strength parted the waters of the sea and allowed them to cross on dry ground. After the crossing, He put the waters back and destroyed the armies of Pharaoh.
Once they crossed the people started praising God and recognizing that He was their strength and defense. God was the one who had saved them. It was not by their own powers or abilities.
There are many in the church who are looking for strength and a defense. Often they are like the world and seeking people or things to help them. They choose not to look to God who is the only one who can truly be their strength and defense.
You may be stuck between the enemy and a sea. It looks like an impossible situation. Look to God for the strength to keep moving forward. God brought you to that spot and He will bring you out of or through that situation. He has the strength that you need to overcome the enemy and situation.
Jesus is there to defend you against the lies and attacks of the enemy. He stands before God interceding for you daily.
Give God praise for being you strength and defense. He will provide the salvation you need. You or no one or anything else can do it for you.
I pray today that you will know the strength of God; that you will see God’s defense for you; that you will trust in God’s abilities to save you; and that you will give God all the praise for what He does for you.
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Matthew 27:12
Jesus had been taken as a prisoner by the officials and was being tried. They were accusing Him of many different things. As they were accusing Him, He did not say a word in His own defense, but just stood there listening.
When people are accused of something, most people will try to defend themselves. They do not want to be accused of doing something wrong. Some cases will end up in a court, while the majority never reach that level.
The accusations that a person may receive may be true or they may be false. It is common for a person to be accused of some action that is true, and yet the person still tries his best to defend himself. At that point many people will try to blame others for the action, or they will try to excuse it, give a “good” reason for the action done. No one wants to get in trouble.
Other times the accusation is false. It can be false because not everything was known about the situation, while other times someone is trying to harm someone else. At this, many people react badly fighting for their reputation. Both of these situations occur on a regular basis.
The challenge for believers is knowing what to do with the accusation. Jesus had remained silent when falsely accused. He had never did anything wrong at all and He knew it. He also knew where He stood with His Father–God.
Along with knowing that, He also knew God’s will in the situation. He knew that He had to be falsely accused and sentenced to death. Jesus was willing to go forward with what God had planned for Him.
There will come times when someone will accuse you of something. If you are guilty, you must confess and seek forgiveness. If you are innocent, you must seek God’s desire for you. It may be that God wants you to be quiet. He knows the situation and will defend you. The people are seeking a bad reaction.
Be willing to be silent and let the enemy accuse you, don’t fight in the wrong way. You may end up saying or doing something wrong. Know that you are standing before God, innocent and loved, or forgiven and loved. Either way, God is on your side.
I pray today that you will stand innocent before God; that you will listen to when God wants you to speak; that God will give you strength to be silent when needed; and that God’s love will shine through you to all your accusers.
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
Isaiah had been speaking about how God was going to punish and destroy Judah. The destruction of the nation was going to be great and the people were going to be sent into exile. This destruction was going to last for nearly 2,000 years as a nation.
As with every destruction of a nation, it would be horrible. People would be killed, imprisoned, tortured, enslaved, separated from families, and ridiculed. It would be a war upon the nation, and no war is pretty.
Yet, Isaiah gives praise to God and speaks of God being his salvation. Isaiah knew that in spite of everything that was going to happen, God would be with him and keep him. The ultimate salvation was to be found in Jesus. Jesus would save from the sins for all eternity.
Today there is destruction and war going on all around a person. Economies are failing, disease is rampant, hatred is high, and fear is everywhere. Looking at this world it is difficult to see any hope of a good future.
Believers look on the way their nation is going and are often in fear for their children. In many places, being a Christian is harder now than it was when a person was younger. Violence against Christian belief keeps rising.
Yet, in spite of all that is happening and seen in this world, if you are a believer in Jesus, you can know the salvation He has for you. There is a freedom in knowing that your sins are forgiven and you are in the right standing with God that the world cannot know. There is freedom from fear in knowing that you will live for eternity with God.
You do not have to be afraid of the way things are going in this world. Jesus has already overcome this world when He rose from the dead. No power is greater on this earth than death, yet Jesus conquered death.
Jesus is your strength, defense and salvation. Trust in Him and do not fear this world, despite what is going on around you. In the end you will win!
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your salvation; that you will not fear this world; that you will not fear destruction; and that you will know the hope and salvation you can have in Jesus.
“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” Acts 22:1
The people had rose up against Paul’s preaching in Jerusalem. A riot was in the forming. The officials grabbed Paul to take him in. As they were holding him, Paul asks to speak to the crowd. Read the verses now through verse 21. Paul gives his defense.
Paul’s defense was not against the people. He starts out telling who he had been at one time. Paul had been very zealous for following the Law and upholding those ways and traditions. He fought against Jesus and every believer, believing he was fighting for God, not against God.
He then tells his story of how Jesus got a hold of his attention. At that point Paul learned that he was to be a witness to the Gentiles. This is what the people did not like and had him captured for.
People often get nervous or scared when having to defend the belief in Jesus. They fear saying the wrong thing, or not sounding very smart. Many do not believe they know enough to defend their belief. They feel they do not know the Bible well enough. Jesus had once said that you are not to worry about that, but that the Holy Spirit would give you the words to speak when the time came.
Yes, there are some people who can quote every Bible verse and break down their theological beliefs very well. Most people cannot do that.
The one thing every person can do is tell what Jesus has done for them. Tell why you believe in Jesus. Tell why you started to follow Jesus. Tell what Jesus wants you to do.
Every believer can also tell what Jesus has done for every person on this earth. Tell the people about how He died on the cross for them and rose from the dead. Tell how Jesus will return some day.
These things do not take a Bible college degree or ministerial license to tell. You do not have to be an attorney to defend your belief. They can be told in normal everyday words and experiences.
Are you defending your faith today? How are you defending your faith today? Tell your story.
I pray today that Jesus will give you the boldness to tell your story to others; that you will not fear defending what you believe; that you will not keep your story silent; and that Jesus will draw many to Himself through your story.
“Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony these men are bringing against you?’ But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Mark 14:60-61
Jesus was standing before the Sanhedrin and all the rulers being tried. Many people were casting accusations against Him of various sorts. The people could not agree on their testimonies against Him.
As they were accusing Him, the high priest would give Jesus a chance to answer His rebuttal to the accusations. However, Jesus would not say a word. He kept silent.
Jesus was perfect. He had never done anything wrong. He never broke any of the laws at all. Yet, He still remained silent.
He knew where He stood with God the Father. It was only what God thought that really mattered. Jesus knew that He had to be accused, convicted and to die on the cross. That was God’s desire.
The only thing the high priests were doing, was fulfilling God’s desire for Jesus. They were ensuring that He would die on the cross.
As Jesus was being accused, He did not fight for His rights or freedom.
Often people may accuse you of something that is false. They may say you said or did something that is not true. As with most people, your first reaction is to defend yourself. You fight to prove you are innocent.
Seek God in the situation. Find out what He is doing with that situation. Maybe God has put you there for a purpose, and that is not to defend yourself. You may be there to be a witness. God may be using you to help someone else.
Find out if God really wants you to defend yourself, or to remain silent and accept what happens. Think of Joseph having to go to prison in order for God to make him second to Pharaoh and save the people. Jesus had to die on the cross in order to save the world.
God may be bringing you to a low spot in order to raise you up, to use you to do a great work for Him. Are you willing? As you go through a bad situation, it may be a time to be silent and accept it. Seek God today on whether to speak or be silent.
I pray today that God will guide you in your walk with Him; that you will hear from God as to what to say and when; that you will know when to be silent and when to speak; that God will make you more like Jesus; and that God will build His kingdom through you.