[Thank you, Mary Decker, for this poem. The cost of a living faith is a daily battle. (If there are others who would like to contribute encouraging Christian poems/writings, please feel free to contact me via the comments.)]

Hard is the battle and long is the war.
Steep is the hill, very narrow the road.
Tired is the soldier, his feet they are sore.
Hungry is he and so heavy his load.

Sure is the victory, doomed is the foe.
Priceless the prize, and most glorious the King.
Though we may struggle, yet certain’s our hope:
Ever, with angels, His praises we’ll sing.

John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/16.htm

Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/5.htm

Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/7.htm

Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/11.htm

Matthew 13:45-46: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
To see these verses in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/13.htm

Ephesians 6:10-18: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/ephesians/6.htm

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/hebrews/11.htm

See also: Revelation 19:11-21 (The first battle). To see this in context click the following link:
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/19.htm

Revelation 20: 7-10 (The second battle/Satan’s doom). To see this in context click the following link:
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/20.htm

Revelation 22:1-5. To see this in context click the following link:
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/22.htm

Revelation 4: To see this in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/4.htm

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[What do you get if  you read the Bible with Waka Waka (Shakira & Freshlyground) in the background?

C146 SV60]

“You are My soldier,
Fighting My battle:
Arm yourself well
And trust in My Grace:
You’ll never get rattled.

“You’re in My frontline
Maintaining your vigil.
You are My watchman:
Satan’s opposing,
His forces are closing

“The pressure is on:
You feel it.
But you’ve got My Grace:
Believe it!

“When you fall, get up
Go on.
And if you fall, get up
Go on.”

Hosanna, now Lord!
Hallelujah!
‘Cos it’s Your victory!

“Arm yourself for the battle, yeah!
Wake up! Wake up! Yeah, yeah!
Arm yourself for the battle
Dry bones rising
It’s My victory!”

We listen to You Lord;
You have commanded:
Our time to shine:
Your strength not mine;
I trust in Your Word.

Your people are praising
We’re celebrating
Come in and feed us:
This is Your body
And our salvation.

“Today’s My day:
Declare it!
I’ve won the day:
Believe it!

“If you get down,
Look up; go on
When you get down,
Look up, go on.”

Hosanna, now Lord,
Hallelujah!
‘Cos it’s Your victory!

“Arm yourself for the battle, yeah!
Wake up! Wake up! Yeah, yeah!
Arm yourself for the battle!”
Praise You, Jesus:
I know that You live!

“Arm yourself for the battle,yeah
Wake up! Wake up! Yeah, yeah!
Arm yourself for the battle”
Praise You, Jesus
‘cos it’s Your victory!

Ezek: 33 (Watchman on the walls); 37 (Valley of dry bones)
Eph 6:10 “It is not against human enemies we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers that originate the darkness of this world.”
Eph 6:11: “So put on God’s armour now.”
Rev 7:10

Do you know or remember Mike Batt’s stirring song The Ride to Agadir?

“We rode in the morning, / Casablanca to the west”. If you live in the valley of the shadow, any day can be an epic struggle. Paul says: But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1Co 15:57) and: If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)

[C126 SV40     27 December 2008]

We rise in the morning
Another night, no rest
But we strap on our armour, go out to do our best
For the Son, in the Spirit
We count all else as lost
And we’re under no illusions; we depend upon the Cross;
We are under no illusions; we depend upon the Cross

In the cold and the loneliness
We sharpen up the Sword
To enable us to stand firm in the power of the Word
With the helmet of Salvation
With His power at our back
We will stand our ground and we will beat off all attacks!
We will stand our ground and we will beat off all attacks!

We will not give in
In this battle we know that we’ll have the victory
There’s no hold for sin
It’s His battle and we know that He’s won our victory

We cry out to Him
Send us power from above!
Let us not forget that You hold us always in your Love
It’s for us You have died
And we must live for You
Give us grace and the power to do what we must do
Give us grace and the power to do what we must do

We will not give in!
In this battle we know that we’ll have the victory
We will trust in Him!
It’s His battle and we know He’s won our victory

We rise in the morning
And face another test
So we strap on our armour, go out and do our best
For the Son, in the Spirit
We count all else as lost
And we’re under no illusions; we depend upon the Cross;
We are under no illusions; our victory’s in the Cross.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Eph 6:11  Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks.
Eph 6:12  For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.
Eph 6:13  So put on God’s armour now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.
Eph 6:14  So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate,
Eph 6:15  and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace.
Eph 6:16  At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.
Eph 6:17  And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.
Eph 6:18  Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people.
Php 3:7  But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ’s sake.
Rom 8:31  If God is for us, who can be against us?

[Do you sometimes feel that life is a bit of a slog? A hell of a slog? We were not told it would be easy, and in the valley it probably seems worse. Jesus said: “I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” [John 16:33] The Bible is full of people who at some time or another felt the same. The Bible is full of everyday people like you and me: Thomas wanting evidence; Peter denying; David full of praise one moment, crying out in anguish the next.

A very dear friend often says, “I pray that the suffering/pain is not wasted.” Although I sometimes don’t like to admit it, human suffering can create space for Grace. That Grace can translate into power.]

VS 36  C121    7 January 2007
[Moody Blues: Nights in white Satin]

Struggle’s the pattern, never seeming to end,
Crises unbidden disaster portend
I call on my Lover: I need you, my Friend
I long to discover what comfort you’ll send
‘Cause I need you, yes I need you
Oh how I need you!

My loving is soul-deep, and it’s your soul I see
You are forgiven and now you’re set free
Grace without limits – and it’s my power to give
Grace means no distance between you and me
‘Cause I love you, yes I love you
Oh how I love you!

Knights in white armour, taking on all the world,
May you go boldly, with banners unfurled
This is your moment, the truth is revealed
I am your helmet, and I am your shield
‘Cause I love you, yes I love you
Oh how I love you!

Then when it’s over, when your task is complete
You’ll come and sit with me, and join in my feast
Your armour unharnessed, my arms open wide
I’ll hold and embrace you to my wounded side
‘Cause I love you, yes I love you
Oh how I love you!

Psa 130:1-4 From the depths of my despair I call to you, LORD. Hear my cry, O Lord; listen to my call for help! If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned?  But you forgive us . . .I wait eagerly for the LORD’s help, and in his word I trust.
Psa 36:7  How precious, O God, is your constant love!
Psa 51:1  Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins!
Psa 69:13  But as for me, I will pray to you, LORD; answer me, God, at a time you choose. Answer me because of your great love, because you keep your promise to save.
Rom 8:37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!

1Jo 4:8, 10  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.
Joh 1:16  Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.
Act 14:3  The apostles stayed there for a long time, speaking boldly about the Lord, who proved that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to perform miracles and wonders.
Act 20:24 … I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God.
Rom 3:24  But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.

Eph 1:6  Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son!

Eph 6:13ff  So put on God’s armour now!. . . At all times carry faith as a shield;… And accept salvation as a helmet,
2Ti 2:1  As for you, my son, be strong through the grace that is ours in union with Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:35, 38  Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? …  For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love.
Mar 15:38; Mt 27:51; Lk 23:44  The curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
Heb 6:19  We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary.
Heb 9:3  Behind the second curtain was the tent called the Most Holy Place
Heb 10:20  He opened for us a new way,…, through the curtain—that is, through his own body.
Rev 3:5  Those who win the victory will be clothed like this in white,… In the presence of my Father and of his angels I will declare openly that they belong to me.
Mat 8:11  I assure you that many will come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of heaven.
Joh 19:34  One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesus’ side, and at once blood and water poured out.
Joh 20:20  After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side.

C112  SV30    Jan 2006

[In Eph 6:11  Paul writes that we must “put on all the armour that God gives [us], so that [we] will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks.” That, plus the logo of  e-sword (internet Bible program with text, search, commentary, notes, the works (http://www.e-sword.net)) probably sparked this poem. In the old days knights in armour went out to do battle for the love of their Lady. We go out and do battle because of our love for God, but, as John says (1Jn 4:19),   “We love because God first loved us.” ]

I want to love you with all of my heart,
Get things back as they were at the start.
I want you to hold me really tight
Throughout the length of this long dark night.
And when day comes, I’d be your knight
Yes, your knight in armour shining bright
.

I want to stand wholly, wholly for you
Do all the things that you want me to do.
I want to stand and fight in your name,
For your sake endure any shame,
And when day comes, I’d be your knight
Yes, your knight in armour shining bright.

I’d don my breastplate, my shield and my sword,
I’d don my helmet at your given word.
I”d ride out over hills, valleys and fields
Fight all the battles till your enemy yields
And when day comes, I’d be your knight
Yes, your knight in armour shining bright.

And if in the battle I should fall
Your love, I know, won’t falter at all.
In homage I’d kneel before your face,
Stand up and feel the warmth of your embrace.
And when dark comes, I’d be your knight
Still your knight, Your armour shining bright.