With us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles. — 2 Chronicles 32:8 NKJV
Nadin Khoury was thirteen years old, five foot two, and weighed, soaking wet, probably a hundred pounds. His attackers were teenagers, larger than Nadin, and outnumbered him seven to one.
For thirty minutes they hit, kicked, and beat him.
He never stood a chance.
Khoury’s mom had recently moved the family to Philadelphia from Minnesota. She had lost her job as a hotel maid and was looking for work. In 2000 she’d escaped war-torn Liberia. Nadin Khoury, then, was the new kid in a rough neighborhood with a mom who was an unemployed immigrant — everything a wolf pack of bullies needed to justify an attack.
The hazing began weeks earlier. They picked on him. They called his mother names. They routinely pushed, shoved, and ambushed him. Then came the all-out assault on a January day. They dragged him through the snow, stuffed him into a tree, and suspended him on a seven-foot wrought-iron fence.
Khoury survived the attack and would have likely faced a few more except for the folly of one of the bullies. He filmed the pile-on and posted it on YouTube. A passerby saw the violence and chased away the bullies. Police saw it and got involved. The troublemakers landed in jail, and the story reached the papers.
A staffer at the nationwide morning show The View read the account and invited Khoury to appear on the broadcast. He did. As the video of the assault played on the screen behind him, he tried to appear brave, but his lower lip quivered. “Next time maybe it could be somebody smaller than me,” he said.
Unbeknown to him the producer had invited some other Philadelphians to appear on the show as well. As the YouTube video ended, the curtain opened, and three huge men walked out, members of the Philadelphia Eagles football team.
Khoury, a rabid fan, turned and smiled. One was All-Pro receiver DeSean Jackson. Jackson took a seat on the couch as close to the boy as possible and promised him, “Anytime you need us, I got two linemen right here.” Khoury’s eyes widened saucer-like as Jackson signed a football jersey and handed it to him. Then, in full view of every bully in America, he gave the boy his cell phone number.1
From that day forward Khoury has been only a call away from his personal bodyguards. Thugs think twice before they harass the kid who has an NFL football player’s number on speed dial.
Pretty good offer. Who wouldn’t want that type of protection?
God gives you the same promise. In fact, the writer of Hebrews quoted the words in his epistle:
For [God] has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?’ — Hebrews 13:5-6 NRSV
That last question is a troubling one.
What can anyone do to me? You know the answers. “Lie to me.” “Deceive me.” “Injure me.” “Terrorize me.” “Bully me.”
But the Scripture asks a different question. If the Lord is your helper, what can anyone do to you?
The Greek word for helper in this passage is boēthos, from boē, which means “a shout,” and theō, which means “to run.”2
When you need help, God runs with a shout, “I’m coming!” He never leaves you. Ever! He never takes a break, takes a nap, or takes time off for vacation. He never leaves your side.
The job market is flat? True. But God is your helper. Your blood cell count is down? Difficult for sure, but the One who made you is with you. Is the world in fear of pandemics? Indeed it is. Still, the Almighty will never leave you or forsake you.
Consequently, everything changes! Since God is strong, you will be strong. Since He is able, you will be able. Since He has no limits, you have no limits. With the apostle you can boldly say,
The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me? — Hebrews 13:6 NKJV
But there is more.
The biggest — and best — news is this: God not only stays with you… He fights for you.
Not only does God desire that you have a chance to begin again, but He fights for you so you can and then remains your guardian throughout your journey.
Fears, diseases, pain, disappointments, and hurts come at you like a legion of hoodlums. Yet rather than run away, you turn and face them. You unsheathe the promise of God’s Word and defy the enemies of God’s cause. You are a grizzly and they are rats. “Get out of here, shame! Begone, guilt! Fear of death, regrets of the past, take your puny attacks elsewhere.”
This is what happens when you are living the new-beginning life. You were not made to quake in fear. You were not made to be beholden to your past. You were not made to limp through life as a wimp. You are a living, breathing expression of God. What’s more, He fights for you.
Is this a new thought? You’ve heard about the God who made you, watches you, directs you, knows you… but the God who fights for you? Who blazes the trail ahead of you? Who defends you? Who collapses walls, stills the sun, and rains hail on the devil and all his forces?
Did you know that God is fighting for you? That
with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles. — 2 Chronicles 32:8 NKJV
our God will fight for us. — Nehemiah 4:20 NKJV
That the Lord will
fight against those who fight against [you]. — Psalm 35:1 NKJV
God fights for you. Let those four words sink in for a moment.
God. The CEO, President, King, Supreme Ruler, Absolute Monarch, Czar, Emperor, and Raja of all history. He runs interference and provides cover. He is impeccably perfect, tirelessly strong, unquestionably capable. He is endlessly joyful, wise, and willing. And He…
He deploys angels and commands weather. He stands down Goliaths and vacates cemeteries. He fights…
For. For your health, family, faith, and restoration. Are the odds against you? Is the coach against you? Is the government against you? Difficult for sure. But God fights for…
You. Yes, you! You with the sordid past. You with the receding hairline. You with the absentee dad. You with the bad back, credit, or job. He fights not just for the rich, pretty, or religious. He fights for the yous of the world. Are you a you?
The big news of the Bible is not that you fight for God but that God fights for you. And to know this — to know that your Father fights for you — is an unparalleled source of empowerment.
When God became flesh, He fought for your soul. When Jesus faced the devil in the wilderness, He fought for your peace. When He stood up for the neglected, was He not standing up for you? When He died on the Cross for your sins, He fought for your salvation. When He left the Holy Spirit to guide, strengthen, and comfort you, He was fighting for your life.
Miss this truth and you might as well plant a mailbox in the wilderness. You will be there a long time. But believe this, and watch the clouds begin to clear.
[God] won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s
Guardian will never doze or sleep.
God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you —
Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke.
God guards you from every evil, He guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return, He guards you now, He guards you always.
- Psalm 121:3-8 The Message
This is what God wants to be for you; it is His goal for you. This is your inheritance: more victory than defeat, more joy than sadness, more hope than despair, more new-beginning days.
- Sean Alfano, “Teens Arrested after Posting YouTube Video of Beating 13-Year-Old Boy and Hanging Him from a Tree,” New York Daily News, February 1, 2011, www.nydailynews.com/news/national/teens-arrested -posting-youtube-video-beating-13-year-old-boy-hanging-tree-article -1.137868. See also Rick Reilly, “Eagles over Wolves in a Rout,” ESPN. com, last modified February 14, 2011, http://espn.com/espn/news/story?id =6120346.
- W. E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words: A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Original Greek Words with Their Precise Meanings for English Readers (McLean, VA: MacDonald Publishing, n.d.), 554.
Excerpted with permission from Begin Again by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.
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Have you recovered from reading that yet? Hallelujah, amen and AMEN! Let’s just stop and worship Jesus for a moment because He is worthy of our praise! God Himself, in your struggles, in your trials, in mistreatment, in crisis, He is fighting for you. He’s for you. He is with you. Come share your praise with us! ~ Devotionals Daily