Faith Column: Joy in the battle
As we approach Christmas 2020, our world feels different. This year has seen a lot of change, and not really in a good way. Many have struggled. Our nation is in a spiritual battle, the roots of which go deeper than most have known or thought. The things we are witnessing now in December 2020 related to the presidential election are external manifestations of things that are happening in the spiritual realm in our nation and in our generation. Hebrews 11:3 tells us that the things we see were made from things that are not seen. In other words, spiritual realities actually influence seen realities. We are see-ing evidence of a tremendous spiritual battle in the spiritual world over the heart and people of the United States.
No one wants to talk or think about a war at Christmas time. But this war is here and it’s not just going away. In any battle there are two opposing sides. In the spiritual war we are in, the fight is between God and the devil. Light and darkness. Freedom and bond-age. This war has actually raged for generations, but is getting more intense now as we approach the end of this age. It was into the midst of this battle that a baby was born to a virgin over 2,000 years ago. A baby that was born a deliverer of the nations.
Angels from heaven announced the birth of the savior as the Hero was born that day. They sang and shouted good news of great joy for all people. This Hero was born to de-liver people from a vicious foe. He was born to square off with this dark villain in battle through death. Death delivered Jesus into the lair of this evil foe as His spirit departed His body. He was tortured for three days on behalf of a world’s sin. When the demands of justice for our sin were met by his innocent suffering, God sent forth His Spirit in pow-er to raise Jesus to life again. It was in this shockwave of power that the villain was dis-armed and defeated. This devil and his minions were melted in defeat as the light and heat of resurrection power erupted upon hell and all of its hosts. Jesus arose victorious; a conquering hero. The significance of his resurrection is defined by the nature of His death. He did not do what He did for himself. He did it for a fallen world. He went as our substitute and deliverer. His resurrection is the victory of every person who believes in His name.
The angels announcing His birth knew this was the plan. It is God’s way to rejoice and shout before the victory appears. Like at Jericho where they shouted before the walls fell. As we approach Christmas this year, we must remember to put our attention upon Jesus and celebrate with great joy. Our joy is a key to our victory. Our savior is The Key to our joy. The Word of God says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Not just joy, but the joy of the Lord. Maybe things look and feel dark in your life right now. I encourage you to look to Jesus and enter into God’s way of great rejoicing before the victory ap-pears. As you celebrate Jesus in faith, joy releases strength and the victory He won for you.
Jason Haskell is pastor of New Creation Church in Craig, Colorado and a missionary to the nations. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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