There was a point long ago, when all life was fragile. A time when all of eternity was unsure whether it would continue to exist after the very next moment. Everything was held in the balance. Man did not have assurance of Heaven; the Redeemer had not yet come. Then God sent Jesus. Jesus was present before the beginning and was the answer for humanity before humanity even existed. He changed everything.
At the moment when it seemed that everything was finished, evil had won, and all hope was gone – that is the moment God chose to send His Son. Failure for this experiment called humanity seemed inevitable. Failure is always inevitable until God shows up. It may seem today that all hope is lost, that man is finished, and that evil has won. We might perceive that all power is gone, that hope is futile, and failure is assured.
Hope is always present. Always. Permit me for a moment to share the following. It is a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Return of the King.” Aragorn, the rightful king, faces an unwinnable battle, but one that must be fought. Though they will all surely die, his men need motivation and they need encouragement. Here is his battle cry as their enemy stands before them. Victory is impossible and annihilation is imminent.
Aragorn: “Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you, stand, Men of the West!”
The battles that loom before each of us, whether they are physical, emotional, spiritual, or financial, seem unwinnable. We may each be facing something that no one else knows about. It could be a health concern, family decision, friends facing a legal matter or a plethora of other things that you may be facing. These may seem impossible. They are more than we can handle. Defeat seems inevitable. The problems and issues that we each face are many, and can leave us feeling discouraged, fearful, powerless, and defeated.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
It is not this day!
Victory might be hopeless. We can give up. We can lie down. We can surrender to that which seems inevitable. We could fail. But our King says, “Not this day!” We don’t have to stand on our own – we stand upon His strength.
Destroyed? Surrender? It is not this day!
What is required of us is to hold our ground, to stand with our King, and fight. What that looks like might be different for each of us. It surely is. The fronts we are called to fight upon are different. What counts is that we do not run fearfully into the night, that we do not cower in fear, that we do not give in to the low standards of this world, and do not hide in anticipation of defeat. In turn we stand up next to our King, look our enemy squarely in the eye, and we fight.
Satan shutters at the mere thought. It isn’t about us. It’s that we take that stand, and with Whom we are standing with!
Upon that cross Jesus hung. In utter peril he refused to give up or to give in. Not this day! He conquered all, so that still today those words ring true. Not this day! Men may fail. He will not! He gave us the victory. Forever!
There will never come a day when He will fail. A day where there is no hope will never exist!
Failure? Defeat? Hopelessness? Surrender? Destruction? It is not this day!
It is not this day!
With you, keeping our eyes upon our King …