The Spiritual Battlefield: Growth Through Hardships

Psalm 60:3
Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.

The journey, though clothed with many victories, is yet laden with many hardships along the way. We do not speak of the victorious Christian life as if it were a cake walk: for without battles, there would be no victory! “Thou hast shewed thy people hard things…” It is necessary for our Lord to expose us to the harsh elements of the open battlefield of faith, otherwise, we would not grow in the same! Hard things are seen in battle, much of which not only shapes who we are, but forever burns in our memories images and experiences which we wish we never saw, and in vain wish we could forget! Yet, those memories remain, reminding us over and over of the pitfalls of sin upon the children of disobedience and unbelief. We do not rejoice when others fall in the battle, not even our enemies! Even they could have with a repented heart joined rank with the blood-washed band of Christian soldiers with whom we march. Yet, we see so many fallen in the heat of the battle, neglecting to surrender to the call of God in their lives. We as soldiers are exposed to these hard scenes of loss and death for two reasons; one, to remind us of the harsh realities of the effects of sin, and, two, to motivate us to keep marching forward in this fight for the freedom of whosoever will! Today, if I can but help one more person avoid spiritual casualty, then I have done my duty! These hard things our Lord shows us should not harden us; if anything, they should tenderize our hearts to do all we can to bring another soldier home alive! I am saddened at the memories I have even now of dear friends of yesteryear who are in the grave today as a direct result of lewd living, having rejected Christ and His offer of Salvation to them. They could have celebrated their 30th birthday this year, with their whole life ahead of them! Yet, it wasn’t cancer that killed them, nor was it old age, or a heart attack, but it was sin. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus! God help us to use the tragedies of life as reminders of why we do what we do for God! Lives are at stake, and souls hang in the balance. It is a matter of life or death; let us therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:3)!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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