The Forward Match

BY

RANDALL J. BREWER

Living in my own house has caused me to learn a very valuable lesson. Things break and unless you want to pay a small fortune to have somebody else fix it then you better learn how to do it yourself and in some cases you better learn fast.

You would not believe the problems and difficulties I have encountered since I have taken on the role of homeowner. I do not care what the instruction manual says, fixing these problems is not as simple as 1-2-3. A lot of brain-storming is needed and when problems do get solved a certain sense of self-satisfaction comes along with it. Yes! Divide and conquer!

It has been said that if there were no problems there would be no solutions. Finding solutions can be very rewarding but sometimes you reach a point where you would gladly give up the reward if the problem would only go away by itself.

But such is not the case and this is how it is in life as well. Problems come and they cannot be ignored. The worst thing a person can do is sit back and do nothing for this gives the enemy free reign to wreck havoc in your life. No, to win the battle of life one must forever be moving forward.

The trials of life are often compared to storms. Many times we encounter hurricane type conditions such as what was described by the apostle Paul in 2 Cor . 1:8 when he said he was “burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.” One thing to learn in the midst of all these trials is that life goes on.

The clock is always ticking and any meteorologist will tell you that all storms move forward as well. In the center of all hurricanes is a peaceful, calm harbor of rest known as the “eye of the hurricane” and this is where you will find the throne room of God.

You see, as long as we are here in this earth-suit we will have problems that will not go away on their own but thankfully we can go to Jesus Who is our “refuge and strength.” And where do we find Him? In the eye of the hurricane.

You will always find Jesus in the center of your storm. The problem many people have is once they’ve taken refuge in this “eye” they want to strip themselves of their armor and rest awhile. This is not bad in and of itself because we all need a season of rest from time to time.

However, we cannot set up camp here and discontinue the good fight of faith because our enemy does not know what the word “rest” means. That storm is always moving and with it so is it’s peaceful center.

If we remain still in our comfort zone and don’t move forward also then the eye of the hurricane will pass over us and the turbulent winds of the violent storm will hit us from behind when we least expect it.

If we would all take inventory of those times when we’ve been wounded in battle we would realize that it happened when our shield of faith was so full of arrows that we just had to lay it down and we rested longer than we should have.

Resting too long brings with it the temptation to fall asleep on our watch and this we cannot do. To remain in the center of the eye of the hurricane we must continue to confess God’s Word and always keep going forward.

In World War II the great General George S. Patton was known for his relentless drive to keep going forward even in the heat of battle. “No retreat, no surrender” was his motto and this must be ours as well. There is, of course, a reason for this.

Shortly after Paul wrote of his hardships at the beginning of his second letter to the Corinthian church he went on to write these encouraging words, “Now thanks be to God Who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” (2 Cor. 2:14a). This verse doesn’t say that God will take a victory and instantly drop it in your lap.

No, it says that God will “lead” you to that victory. The reason we must keep going forward is because that’s where our victory is. It’s out there in front of us. Even while Jesus was hanging on the cross He was looking forward to the victory that would be His and ours at the resurrection. Therefore, don’t look at what you’re going “through” but focus on where you’re going “to”. Don’t look at what is, look at what is going to become.

Being led to victory can be compared to when my wife asks me to take her someplace. There are many routes I can take to get her to the proper destination but she doesn’t think about that. She knows where she wants to go and she trusts me to get her there.

This is how it is when God “leads us in triumph” and likewise we must put our total trust in Him to get us where we want to go. If a trial comes our way and we find ourselves in “the valley of the shadow of death” then we must trust God and realize that this valley is on the route that leads to our victory.

Sometimes you may feel like you’re on a rugged obstacle course going through a maze of difficulties and the end to your problem is nowhere in sight. Once again, the only thing you can do is put your total trust in the One Who is leading you.

This may seem confusing at times but thankfully we don’t have to understand it in our mind in order to believe it in our heart. Prov. 20:24 says, “A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?” Nobody said this journey was easy. It’s not. We are in a war and even Jesus said to “count the cost”. What He also said is that He would never leave us or forsake us. A valley is not a bad place to be if you and Jesus are going through it together.

Ps. 37:23,24 tells us, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” At all times you must believe that you are on the road to victory and are being led every step of the way by the One you call your Lord.

Remember, the only way out of the valley is to march forward and go through the valley. Someone once said that “great people are ordinary people with extra ordinary amounts of determination.” Obey the Lord’s command to “Rise up!” and never allow that trial to keep you idle.

Doing nothing only increases the opportunity for you to feel sorry for yourself and we all know that will get you nowhere. Keep going forward and take hold of that victory that rightfully belongs to you. And where is that victory at? It’s on the path you’re already on so keep your head held high knowing that trials and hardship are on the road to your miracle.

And, by all means, never look back and always keep your eyes in front of you because that is where your victory is. When you’ve had a setback, don’t take a step back, get ready for a comeback.

Though the wind may blow and the rain will fall, we find comfort in the eye of the hurricane by putting our confidence in the words spoken in Nahum 1:3, “But the Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm.” Rest assured, the victory is there but you must march forward to get it. Put one foot in front of the other and go after it. Shout aloud the battle cry of the overcomer, “Onward Christian soldiers!”