"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31)
These words wrap themselves around us each day. No matter what happens in our personal lives, homes, community, and society, God is on our side. We can wage war against ourselves, fight with family and friends, or walk out of step with what the world demands from us, but God is still on our side. More than that, he strengthens us against sin, the world, and Satan by the working of his Spirit within us.
It's often easy to identify who around us has power and influence over our thoughts and actions. But, the one who has true strength and the will to change us for our benefit is the one who is always with us, defending us from the harm that sin and death inflict upon us.
The one who has power and authority over all things in heaven, on earth, and beneath earth promises us, "I am with you always." False prophets, persecutors, those who speak against us, who want to strip us of our faith in Christ Jesus, may pin us down with their barrage of insults, curses, jokes, and condemnations, but we have no reason to fear them.
Each attack that targets us is repelled with the shield of faith in Christ Jesus, who defeated them all on the cross. Therefore, whom do we have to fear? Jesus is our strength and salvation. He serves us so that we wait on him to act for us, encouraged and emboldened to stand fast against any threat or attack.
So whenever we face struggle and affliction for our faith in Christ, we are assured by God that there is a way to face it all. The Psalmist confesses it. God's word calls us to face struggle and affliction with the one who stands in front of us, beside us, and behind us. His Word, Jesus, is our light and salvation, our mighty fortress, and defender against every threat and peril. Jesus, God and Savior, turns back the attacks meant to destroy us. Jesus fought the battle against sin and death for us. He won the war against Satan and his demonic host by his resurrection from the dead for our justification. The cross of Christ casts its shadow over time and space like a flag of victory planted on a hill overlooking the battlefield so that everyone who passes by can see that the battle is over. The victory is won. Jesus is risen.
We stand with Jesus on the field of victory, bathed in the shadow of his cross. With Jesus, troubles and sorrows, problems and worries, heartbreak and mourning are gathered up like left-over crumbs from a feast marking the celebration of victory over the enemy's forces. Jesus gave his life for it all, and as a consequence, we are strengthened and need not be afraid of our enemies – sin, death, and Satan – anymore. He strengthens us through his promises and will not let us down. He will take us through every trial and affliction.
With Jesus, even when it appears we are about to be defeated by our sinful selfishness, or by this evil world, or by Satan, he sends us preachers to remind us that he is always with us and, therefore, who can be against us?
Jesus has already won the victory over sin, death, and Satan for us at Calvary. He strengthens us and turns us to him through his Spirit and promises for the help we need. He gives us the courage we need to not be afraid. This courage comes from the presence of our God and Savior. He goes in front, beside, and behind us as our defender and guide—Jesus, who is for us a mighty warrior and good shepherd. Our God and Savior are for us in the way of forgiveness, new life, and eternal salvation. Therefore, if Jesus is for us, nobody can stand who is against us.