As we begin a new year, it is truly our desire to live with a firm trust in the Lord and walk in the assurance of a life of faith in Christ.
But how many times do we find ourselves bogged down by subtle thoughts and feelings of failure? The emotional thoughts of fear, of dread, and of hopelessness? Paul talks about these attacks of the demonic powers of darkness in Ephesians chapter 6. We need to realize that we are in warfare against these forces of wickedness. The enemy wants to take us out, even as we keep picking up fear and unbelief.
In the devotional book, “Streams In The Desert” by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, we find the story of an anxious and troubled Christian. As the author describes her, “She was like the old lady who once said she had suffered so much, especially from the troubles that never came.” But one morning she came down to breakfast rejoicing. She told her family that during the night she had had a dream. She was walking along a highway with a great crowd of people who seemed very tired and burdened. They were all carrying little black bundles, and she noticed that there were numerous, repulsive-looking beings which she thought were demons dropping these black bundles for the people to pick up and carry. Like the rest, she too had her needless load, and was weighed down with the devil’s bundles. Looking up after a while, she saw a Man with a bright and loving face, passing here and there through the crowd, and comforting the people.
At last He came near her, and she saw that it was her Savior. She looked up and told Him how tired she was, and He smiled sadly and said: “My dear child, I did not give you these loads. You have no need of them. They are the devil’s burdens and they are wearing out your life. Just drop them, refuse to touch them with one of your fingers and you will find the path easy, and you will be as if borne on eagle’s wings.” He touched her hand, and instantly, peace and joy thrilled her frame. Flinging down her burden, she was about to throw herself at His feet in joyful thanksgiving when suddenly she awoke and found that all her cares were gone. From that day to the close of her life, she was the most cheerful and happy member of the household.
This is walking in the rest of faith, that confidence that the Lord is working in our lives for our good. The assurance that God is for us! Therefore, we can rest in Him who can take all our burdens. As Peter says in I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” Then Peter goes on to say in verses 8 through 11, “Be self–controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore (and heal) you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”