The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle. (Psalm 78:9)
There are many things in this life that will tempt us to turn back and go in the opposite direction from the one God is calling us to. Sin can and often does cause us to shrink back from the call of our Lord. Forgetting the promises of God will cause us do this as well. The men of Ephraim were well armed for battle, but they were trusting in their armor and not the Almighty, and they turned back on the day of battle.
How do we keep ourselves from turning back when we are tempted to do so?
Jesus promised that we will encounter storms in this life, and we may very well be tempted to turn back when we are being battered by storms. So how can we get to the end of our lives and be able to say, as Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)? We will be able to do that if we keep our focus on our Savior and look away from the storms.
It is hard to find anyone in sacred Scripture (other than Jesus) who endured more opposition and hardship than the apostle Paul. Yet through it all, Paul never let the waves of challenge water down His witness for Jesus. He was able to rise above his circumstances because He rested in the reality of his Redeemer.
Far too many who profess faith in Christ “turn back” from their Lord when they encounter trials and difficulties. They let the circumstances of life control the outcome of their lives rather than relying on Jesus. Regardless of what you are facing today — and I have no desire to minimize any storm that has come against you — remember this: Greater is the power that is at work within you than any power that will ever come against you. When you are tempted to turn back, trust, and keep on keeping on, knowing that He who began the good work in you has promised to bring it to completion.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!