There’s a popular saying that God gives His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers. This is like a rallying cry that encourages us to keep fighting through difficult times. But, is this statement true?
When I think of strong soldiers, Samson is the first person who comes to mind. He killed a lion, struck down 1,000 men at once, snapped bow strings like they were thread, and tore down a city gate and carried it on his back (see the stories in Judges 14:5-9, 15:14-17, 16:3, and 16:9). Surely, he was a man with real machismo!
But did you know that Samson is also considered a prequel to Christ? His story points to the coming of Jesus, the greatest warrior ever. Here are a few comparisons:
- Both Samson’s and Jesus’ births were announced by angels
- Samson’s mission was to save Israel. Jesus’ mission was to save the world.
- Samson’s death happened when his arms were stretched between two columns while the Philistines mocked him. This is similar to Jesus’ death on the cross.
- Samson’s death delivered his people. Jesus’ death delivers everyone from death.
Samson was one of God’s strongest soldiers, and he certainly fought in many tough battles. However, according to Christianity.com, “The idea of God giving different “battles” to different believers is not biblical at all. Each person will have their own struggles, temptations, and difficulties in life, and it is not wise to compare our own hard times with others.”
So, could there be a better way to understand and work through our battles?
When I’m going through a tough time, I don’t think of myself as a strong soldier powering through a battle. Instead, I remember that I am God’s beloved child, and I can trust in His goodness and His great love for me no matter what is going on. This changes how I relate to God in tough times. I don’t look to him as a general who barks out commands, but more like a parent who lovingly guides me through any challenge.
The Bible doesn’t talk about God giving battles to people. But, it does promise that “in all things, God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). When we’re in really tough situations, it can be impossible to imagine how God will bring good from our pain. That’s when we have to remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and ask Him to increase our faith (Isaiah 55:9).
How God Uses Our Battles For Good
As I searched through the Bible, I found three ways that God uses the battles in our lives to grow and shape us. It might not be totally accurate to say that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers, but it is true that battles can:
Draw us nearer to God
God is with us always. But sometimes when we’re too comfortable, we forget to rely on Him for our daily bread. When battles come, they help us remember how much we need God. Then we can learn to say with David, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
Make us stronger for the next battle
Life is hard. Sometimes difficult circumstances drag on like an unending war. They wear us down and make us feel like we’re losing ground. But God provides a winning strategy. His Word guides us through the tumult. Later, we can see He was there with us in the midst of battle. And every battle we suffer through is an opportunity for spiritual growth.
One of my favorite verses to turn to in tough times is 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” This reminds me that when we feel weak, God gives us His strength.
Assure us that we’re loved
Throughout the gospels we see Jesus loving, reaching out to, and helping people going through really tough battles. He doesn’t shy away from people experiencing the loss of a loved one, a terrible disease, or the judgment of the religious elite. In fact, he seems to go out of His way to let those people know how much He loves them.
So, in the midst of your battle, you may experience God’s love in a new way. Our God is a loving Father who protects and cares for His children. As Matthew 7:9-11 teaches, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
If you’re in the midst of a battle, I pray that you will “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11). You can do that through being in the Word, connecting to God in prayer, and letting the Spirit lead you.
And if you’re weary from the fight, remember that “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). You don’t need to be the strongest soldier to survive this tough battle. You only need to rely on God’s love and strength to see you through.