Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. --1 Corinthians 15: 58 NIV
I must confess something. The year 2012 has so far been a pretty discouraging year for me. I started it out at a watch night service, in which the pastor preached the message, "No Fear This Year." Right there, I resolved to finish some projects God had put on my heart, and to keep up some great things God had been doing in my life. No sooner had I made those plans, and even while the words of the sermon were still in my ears, something dreadful and fearful rose up in my path to block me. After that knocked me off my feet, something else rose up. I feel like I've spent every day this year either dusting myself off from one crisis or bracing for impact as the next one begins.
I don't say all that to discourage you, but rather to call attention to this kind of scenario, in case this describes you. It seems like life is telling me to give up, labeling me as ineffective, and generally filling me with fear. I've been told by well-meaning people that this is not the empowered life I am supposed to be living. I've asked God many times to help me through, but rather than marching into battle and watching my enemies scatter at my glare, I've been barely pulling through. Talk about your Pyrrhic victory.
If this is you, I'm writing here to tell you to stand firm in your faith and in your relationship with God. This is a supernatural situation, whether it is an attack of Satan or a test of your faithfulness. It will pass. Don't let discouragement, fear, trouble, pain, or chaos move you from the path of serving the Lord, that is, the path you know He has set your feet upon. Maybe you don't see the results today, but your labor in the Lord is not in vain!
If you feel like tomorrow might be your last defeat, I've got news for you--it won't be. There are so many Biblical examples of people who had nothing left to give, but when they leaned on God for strength, they were successful (for example, see Nehemiah 6:9-16). When you seem to have nothing but God, you are strongest, because God is stronger than you, and He can do what your spent strength failed to do (2 Corinthians 12: 9 NIV). Don't give up! Your enemy is defeated already if you commit it to God's hands.
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6: 15-17)