“You hear me when I call; You are my morning song; Though darkness fills the night, It cannot hide the light; Whom shall I fear; You crush the enemy, Underneath my feet, You are my sword and shield, Though troubles linger still; Whom shall I fear, I know who goes before me; I know who stands behind, The God of angel armies, Is always by my side, The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine; The God of angel armies, Is always by my side;
“My strength is in your name, For you alone can save; You will deliver me, Yours is the victory; And nothing formed against me shall stand; You hold the whole world in your hands, I’m holding on to your promises, You are faithful, You are faithful, I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind, The God of angel armies, Is always by my side; The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine, The God of angel armies, Is always by my side.”
— Chris Tomlin “Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)”
Right before writing this, I was standing on a hilltop in the front yard of our very close relatives who live in Hamlin, West Virginia. I was admiring the peacefulness of my surroundings: the crows flying overhead, squawking to one another as they flew, the squirrels scampering over the wet grass on their way to find their morning snack, the woodpecker hammering away on a dead tree, looking for a tasty bite, the blue sky, the green pine trees and the gently wind all gave way to my thoughts that no matter what comes against us, our friend, the God of angel armies, is right there by our side.
And nothing that the devil has formed against us can prosper because God is our Strength, our Deliverer, the One who goes before us and the One who will reign forever.
So what’s the background for my thoughts today? Our very close (like the brother I didn’t have) first cousin is battling Stage IV pancreatic, liver and brain cancer. He is just now finishing up round two of a very advanced round of chemotherapy. And last night he shared with me that if the results next week are not positive, he will be ending the chemo and trusting fully in the Lord for his healing from the cancer.
That’s pretty bold. To take a giant step of faith and say “I am putting my very life into the hands of God and if He so chooses, I will be healed but if He doesn’t, I will continue to live with Him in Heaven.”
I wonder how many of us could say that and really mean it? I have been a Christian for 40 years now, and his statement to me was somewhat startling. I mean, given the choice that he has to make, I would exhaust every means of treatments I could to battle this disease. I would spare no cost to find something that would cure it so I could have another day on this earth.
Could you really say and mean what you say, that if chemo doesn’t rid me of this disease, then I am turning it completely over to God and I am totally fine with whatever happens? That is faith! I mean, that is the type of faith where whatever happens, I am trusting the Lord and I am not going to be moved because the God of angel armies is standing right beside me, so whom (or what) should I fear? Not even death itself!
I am learning something this week. My faith is being strengthened because of his faith. In the very eyes of death, his faith is not wavering and because of that, my faith is being strengthened! That is amazing! God never ceases to amaze me in everything that takes place in life. And maybe, something I have shared with you today has strengthened your faith too. I pray that it has.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
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Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.