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L.O.V.E. (Let Our Voices Encourage) Devotions

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When Satan Tempts You To Despair

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

Romans 8:34

For years, most of my prayer journal entries started with confessing the same sin struggle over and over again. Few things are as humbling as facing a long record of your own shortcomings in black and white.

For some of us, that record is physically written in our own handwriting. For others, it’s evoked by mental flashbacks to past behaviors we’d rather forget. For still others, it’s whispered by the enemy, who tells us all the ways we fall short. I’m reminded of the old hymn “Before the Throne of God Above”:

“When Satan tempts me to despair,

And tells me of the guilt within,

Upward I look and see Him there

Who made an end of all my sin.”

There really is an accuser who hurls allegations against God’s people before God (Zechariah 3:1-2; Revelation 12:10). And let’s be honest: We all sin. Most of those allegations are probably deserved.

But do you know who now stands before God's throne, interceding on our behalf?


Thanks be to God that Jesus is standing right there defending us before the Father. Not because our good deeds outweigh our bad ones. We have no hope of that. But because Jesus offers His own perfect righteousness to cover all our sins:

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).

We will still struggle against sin as long as we live in these earthly bodies. And it’s healthy to keep short accounts by regularly confessing our sin and receiving God’s forgiveness.

But we do not have to struggle alone. In the fight against our own flesh and the forces of evil, God equips us with the breastplate of righteousness to stand against the enemy's schemes: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place …” (Ephesians 6:14).

The wonder of the breastplate of righteousness is that it is not our own righteousness that protects us: It's the perfect righteousness of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).

What shields your core — the very center of your being, the most vulnerable place an enemy would try to attack you — is not your own ability to do the right thing. In that case, our breastplates would be full of holes where sin struggles have eaten through like rust. Rather, the protection that covers our front and back is the titanium-strength, sin-proof, perfect, spotless righteousness of Jesus.

Like Adam and Eve trying to cover themselves with fig leaves in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:7), we could never cover ourselves with our own righteousness. It’s only the sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of God that covers us from head to toe.

When God the Father looks at you and me, He sees Jesus’ perfect righteousness, not our own repeated failures.

Hallelujah! What a wonderful and merciful Savior!

So let’s come boldly before the throne of God to receive mercy and grace in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Let’s put on Jesus’ righteousness by confessing our sin struggles and receiving His forgiveness and grace. We can ask Him to prepare us for battle as we put to death the sins of the flesh and walk in obedience to His Spirit. And we can rest in the victory of Christ Jesus as we continue walking in His righteousness day by day.

Precious Jesus, thank You for covering me with Your own righteousness. When I’m tempted to despair, remind me to fix my eyes on You instead of trying to fix myself. I rest in Your perfect, precious love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Jul 08, 2023

So true, Jesus' work on the cross AND His resurrection is the breastplate of rightousness as to our possession. Our position is firm but the ongoing relationship with Christ is what keeps us safe here on earth as we follow His guidelines.



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