John 16:33 AMP
I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
George Washing was shot four times and miraculously never wounded. Seven hundred and fourteen out of 1300 men died that same day in 1755, but Washington was the only officer on horseback that was not shot down. After the fierce battle, Washington wrote his brother and said, "By the all powerful dispensations of Providence [God], I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!"37
Fifteen years later, Washington met the chief of the Indian tribe that led that battle against him. The chief said, "Washington was never born to be killed by a bullet! I had seventeen fair fires at him with my rifle, and after all could not bring him to the ground! ...Our rifles we leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss – ‘twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we shielded you. Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit we immediately ceased to fire on you. The Great Spirit protects that man [pointing at Washington] and guides his destinies – he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire."38
This story of God’s divine protection and of Washington’s open gratitude could be found in virtually all school textbooks until 1934. Now few Americans have read it. Washington often recalled this dramatic event that helped shape his character and confirm God’s call on his life.
God wants to help shape our character and confirm His call on our lives, too. It’s amazing how difficult situations can mold and shape us. Sure, George Washington walked out of that battle untouched, but that doesn’t discredit the truth that he fought through the emotions and physical limitations of being a man in battle. I want to encourage you not to run from a difficulty you may be in now. Instead, grow through it. The emotional pain may be exhausting. The physical stress may seem unbearable. The uncertainty of knowing what’s next might come with anxiousness. But know, as we keep our focus on God's Word, we can persevere through it. God already knows the battles we're going to face in advance anyway. But He’s got you covered. That’s why Jesus said to, “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” In other words, He’s saying, “I’ve got your back!” Our part is to grow and become the person God wants us to be. God has a tremendous plan for your life. You are full of purpose and destiny. You have a call to do something great whether you realize it or not. Like George Washington, let’s grow in character and walk in the call that God has for us.
- Read - Re-read John 16:33.
- Think - What are some areas in your life where you've persevered to the finish line?
- Write - Journal what tools you used to keep you focused on your desired outcome. How can you apply those tools to help you stand firm on God's Word regarding a tough area you might be facing.
- Pray - Ask God to help you stand strong and be of good courage as you walk through the trial and into the victory He's provided for you.
- Take away - We all know that without a test, there can be no testimony. So let's be of good courage. God's got your back. Keep your focus on His promises and watch those problems disappear as you run into victory given you through Christ Jesus.