Monday, June 8, 2015

How Do You Like Those Odds?

I have had three thoughts rolling around in my head for a week, and this morning, it was as if they all collided in my head, and I saw a connection that I had not recognized before.  All I can say is that it had to be God.  Never before have I had such a collision of thoughts that brought such peace to my heart.  Yes, God definitely works in mysterious ways.

First off, I've been meditating on Gideon, particularly the part where God whittled his army down to a mere 300 men.  If you study it out, you'll see that the odds against Israel's army were 450 to 1.  That means every soldier of Israel would have to take on 450 soldiers of the Midianite army, or at least that's what they thought.  Horrible odds, don't you think?  It sounds like an impossible situation.  Fortunately, our God excels in creating possibilities even against impossible odds.

I've also been meditating on Psalm 3, particularly the first couple of verses: Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.  Now, for the psalmist, I'm pretty sure he was referring to people.  Many people are troubling me.  Many people are rising up against me.  Many people are saying that it's all in vain.

In my life, it's not so much people as it is thoughts and situations.  Many are the thoughts that trouble me.  Many are the situations that rise up against me.  Many are the thoughts that tell me it's all in vain.  Why bother?  Just like the poor army of Israel, it seems as if the odds are stacked against me, and I'm afraid.  How can I possibly win?  How can I defeat so great an enemy?  The answer to that lies in the third verse of Psalm 3 and also in the third thought that's been occupying my brain all week.

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. (vs 3)

I love the shift in perspective here.  The odds are against me.  I don't think I can possibly win.  There's no hope.  BUT. . .God is a shield.  He is my glory, and He will help me to hold my head up high.  He will give me the victory, no matter how great the odds may be.  Which leads me to my third thought, a song entitled "God Says You Can."

The theme of the song is story after story of impossible situations--circumstances that the world looks at and says, "No way," but God says, "No problem."  Broken homes, bankrupt families, lost jobs, physical difficulties.  Whatever the situation, no matter how impossible it may seem, God says, "I will work all things for your good."  He did for Gideon.  He did for the psalmist.  And He will for us.

You see, one thing each group failed to take into consideration is that God was on their side, and when God is on our side, it doesn't matter what the odds say.  Whether it's 450 to 1 or 45,000 to 1, as long as God is with that 1, the power is unlimited and the victory is assured.

Do you realize that most of the Midianite army was slaughtered before the Israeli army even lifted their swords?  God took care of them.  That's just how mighty He is.  If He could conquer Israel's enemy and lift up the fallen psalmist, don't you think He'll take care of you as well?

So, I ask you again, how do you like those odds?

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