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if God is for us

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31 ESV)
Do not be discouraged at the difficulties and oppositions that will rise up before you when you begin resolvedly to walk with God. Discouragements turn multitudes from religion, and provide a great temptation for many young beginners to turn back. Israel in the wilderness was ready to retreat to Egypt. God himself will have his servants and his graces tried and exercised by difficulties, and Satan, will quickly raise up storms before us, as soon as we are set out to sea. But God is on your side and has all your enemies in his hand, and can rebuke them, or destroy them in a moment. O what is the breath or fury of dust or devils, against the Lord Almighty! In the day you entered into a covenant with God, and he with you, you entered into the most impregnable rock and fortress, and covered yourself in a castle of defence, where you may (modestly) defy all adverse powers of earth or hell. If God cannot save you, he is not God. And if he will not save you, he must break his covenant. Indeed, he may resolve to save you, not from affliction and persecution, but in it, and by it! But in all these things you will—‘Overwhelmingly conquer through him who loved us’ (Rom. 8:37). It is far more desirable and excellent to conquer by patience, in suffering for Christ, than to conquer our persecutors in the field, by force of arms. O think on the saints’ triumphant boastings in their God: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’ (Psa. 46:1). If all of the world were on your side, you might yet have cause to fear. But to have God on your side is infinitely more! Christ the Captain of your salvation has gone this way before you, and now he is engaged to make you a conqueror! Do not be afraid where Christ is leading the way. Do not draw back when you see his steps and his blood!
January 1 reading by Richard Baxter (A Christian Directory, i:43) in Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings, by Richard Rushing. I'm really enjoying these daily readings-- very rich soul food.

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