By Rev. Efraim Espinoza
Team sports are an integral part of our world today. Many teams – professional, collegiate, and even national, have their own unique cheer. The team is easily identifiable by their “battle cry.” At times, the actual participants on the field of play will wave their arms to encourage the fans in the stadium to loudly express their cheer/battle cry in support of the athletes that are totally involved.
As a believer, I have frequently identified with the apostle Paul when in the midst of the storm, he expressed a “battle cry” that clearly proclaimed his trust in God. In Acts 27:25, Paul declares, “I believe God…” while they were still struggling in the boat. It was still “I believe God…” when Paul and his fellow passengers experienced the shipwreck and miraculously arrived safely to shore. Paul’s battle cry, “I believe God…” was still a reality when the poisonous snake bit his hand.
Today I am privileged to pray with individuals through their storms, shipwrecks, or injuries from “poisonous snakes” with words and deeds that result in serious and at times, life-threatening situations. “I believe God…” is still the Biblical battle cry that stirs faith in our hearts to continue our spiritual journey.
Paul’s testimony and his declaration of faith, his battle cry, in the midst of the storm has been an encouragement in my personal walk with God. The Scriptures record his declaration as follows: “For I believe God. It will be just as he said” Acts 27:25 (NLT). It continues to be my anchor in many ways. Three key words stand out as I reflect on these powerful statements from the life of the apostle Paul:
- Security: I know that my trust in God and His Word is a stable foundation that cannot be destroyed. Many things in life change and circumstances may vary. God’s Word never changes. I am secure as I trust in His promises.
- Significance: I know who I am in Christ. Because I have put my trust in Him, I am a new creation. I may never achieve recognition by earthly standards, yet God’s Word clearly describes my status. I am a child of God. I am not perfect, but I am forgiven and daily I am being perfected in Christ.
- Strength: I know that I am able to walk through the challenges of life because God has promised to be with me. He will never leave me nor forsake me. I may not be able to take another step in my abilities. I may not be able to supply the next crisis need with my own resources, but my trust in God gives me all that I need.
“I believe God…” is not merely a recorded phrase in a book. It is an expression of faith in God. It is our “battle cry” as followers of Christ.
Efraim Espinoza serves at the Assemblies of God National Leadership & Resource Center as the Director of the Office of Hispanic Relations and as coordinator of Evangelio Pentecostal (Spanish Pentecostal Evangel).