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God Under Fire

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God Under Fire

Post  Admin on Sun 05 Jul 2009, 3:52 pm

God Under Fire

Suggested Bible Reading
Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me; all day long foes oppress me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many fight against me.O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me? All day long they seek to injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. They stir up strife, they lurk, they watch my steps.As they hoped to have my life, so repay them for their crime; in wrath cast down the peoples, O God! You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record? Then my enemies will retreat in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me? My vows to you I must perform, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. For you have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling,so that I may walk before God in the light of life. When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots, an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Before you engage in battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the troops, and shall say to them: "Hear, O Israel! Today you are drawing near to do battle against your enemies. Do not lose heart, or be afraid, or panic, or be in dread of them; for it is the LORD your God who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you victory."
-Psalm 56 and Deuteronomy 20:1-4 (NRSV)
Today's Scripture

The psalmist wrote, "In the shadow of your wings [O God] I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by."
-Psalm 57:1 (NRSV)

I picked up the magazine, eager to be inspired by its cover story about military chaplains striving to live the word of God under fire in Iraq. To my dismay, the article began with the story of one young chaplain whose faith had been so shattered by what he saw in war that he wanted nothing to do with God; he had become sick of religion and had come to hate God.

It hurt to read this account of faith in crisis. But I had to ask myself: What would it take to turn me away from God? A bitter divorce? The death of one of my children? Incurable cancer? I understood how that chaplain's inner struggles had caused him to become bitter, angry, and alienated.

I read on to discover that the chaplain, now counseling wounded military personnel at a government hospital, had recovered his faith. After agonizing months of adjustment back home, he found and described a new relationship with God brought about by what he had experienced. After enduring a life-changing and belief-eroding time, this soldier/pastor returned to God, a different person but still a believer.

As his story showed me, times of doubt can become a doorway to renewed faith.

Prudence Schofield (Maine, USA)

Lord Jesus, take whatever faith we have and make it grow, day by day. Amen.

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