For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of watching a movie based on the life of African-American baseball player, Jackie Robinson. He was the first Black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century.
During a season of much racial tension in the United States, Jackie was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945 by Branch Rickey, general manager and president of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Branch saw Jackie’s potential and was seeking the opportunity to bring about the desegregation of the major leagues. He saw this opportunity in Jackie, who went on to make his major league debut in 1947. Branch knew that Jackie would face racial challenges and encouraged him to not fight back when confronted with racism.
As was expected, Jackie faced racial abuse. Some of his team members objected to his being on the team, he faced jeers from the crowds, harassment from rival teams and threats directed towards him and his family. Yet, in spite of it all, day by day, he chose to do what he was hired to do – play baseball.
I see in him, a man of strength and character. It was difficult, it was even dangerous at times, but, he stuck it out. What strikes me is the fact that he kept his focus, even chose to keep his focus. It was difficult when players from rival teams hurled insults at him. One player even intentionally threw the ball so that it hit him in the face instead of throwing it so that he could hit it with his bat.
I parallel this to our own challenges as children of God. We face attacks and challenges designed to knock us down and knock us out. Sometimes, the attacks and trials are coming at us so quickly and repeatedly, we feel as if we can barely survive this unfair onslaught. Yet, just as Jackie had the backing of his manager who believed in him, his teammates who gradually grew to accept him, his wife who always encouraged and supported him, not to mention his own will and determination to survive, we too have support and strength from our God who will never abandon us (Hebrew 13:5b) and who is our help when we need it (Psalm 46:1).
In my own life as I have faced my own share of trials and testing, I have found myself more and more understanding and appreciating Jesus’ life here on earth. Like Jackie, Jesus was faced with his share of opposition, attacks, even attempts on his life. Yet, this is what has gotten my attention – every day, Jesus got up, spent time with His Heavenly Father and went out and did what he was assigned to do here on earth. He knew the attacks would come, He knew they would try to challenge His words and criticize His miracles, He even knew they would try to kill Him ... but, He went out and did His assignment anyway. He kept His focus and did not allow anything or anyone to stop Him from doing what He came here to this earth to do.
This reality gives me strength. We can’t always stop the challenges and trials from coming our way. In fact, sometimes, we may even want to give up because the battle is too fierce, or the wind and waves from the storm too strong. It just doesn’t seem worth the effort. But, it was difficult for Jesus, it was difficult for Jackie, yet, they both kept their focus and they got up each day and did their assignment.
My encouragement is this: don’t let the attacks the enemy sends your way stop you from doing what God has given you to do. We are not here by accident, God has a purpose and a plan for each of us. The reality is the devil knows this and will do anything and use anyone to distract you, to derail your purpose, to prevent you from accomplishing God’s plan for your life. Do not get distracted by bitterness or resentment, do not get distracted by fear or discouragement, do not get distracted by “distractions” whatever they may be. All of these things the devil will use to cause you to not fulfill God’s purpose for your life. So, keep your focus, give the battles back to God and do what God has called you to do and be who God has called you to be in Him. He has already enabled you and He will fight for you!
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Savior, I invite you to do so now. Life is tough, yet, we have all the support, encouragement and strength we need from a God who has promised to fight for us, who will always be there for us when we need it and who will help us to carry out His plan and purpose for our life.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.