1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)
6 So be truly glad. [a] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Revelation 2:10 (NLT)
10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.
2 Corinthians 1:4-5 (NLT)
4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.
Philippians 3:14 (NLT)
14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Sometimes life can become very complicated, even downright hard. It is during those times that we have to remember that God never promised us that we would spend our lives frolicking through a bed of roses. He did promise however, that He would never leave us or forsake us. He also said that His grace was sufficient and that we could do all things through Christ who strengthens us.Lately, it seems that my family has been hit with a series of challenging events. It would be so easy at this point, just to pull the covers over my head, curl up in a ball and say call me when the dust has settled. However, life still must go on. We don’t get a “drop out of life pass” when things get hard. We still must function. We have jobs to go to, we have bills to pay, and families to take care of. In other words, business as usual.
What I have learned from the past, is that in my darkest hour when I thought it was too much for me to humanly bare, God picked me up as a dad picks up his hurting child and He carried me through my season of pain, fear, and doubt. When I look back, I know that only God could have brought me through those difficult days, because I was not capable of rescuing myself.
God’s love for us can literally get us through anything. Our job is simply to trust Him to do so and to continue to press on. As we persevere even in the face of adversity, God will continue to give us the strength that we need for our journey. Although we may become worn, frustrated, and even fearful, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and press on.
I am encouraged when I read how Paul continued on time after time, enduring one trial after the other.
2nd Corinthians 11: 23-28, 12: 7-10.
“….. I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 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. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I am convinced that it wasn’t just his passion and his faith, but it was his clarity of mind. Paul was very clear on who God was in his life, he was clear on his God-given purpose and he was very clear on who’s power was working through him to encourage him and to keep him going. He was clear that God’s divine purpose was worth the fight and that he was on the winning side.
When you have purpose, vision, passion, power, and clarity you don’t relent easily. You won’t throw in the towel so easily, just because life becomes more complicated or painful.
I have decided that when I think that I am having a hard day or when I am going through a hard season I will go back to the scripture mentioned above to help me regain some perspective.
My prayer for you today is that you will trust God wholeheartedly with your pain and hardships and that you will encourage others to do the same. Remember it’s only for a season.
Have a blessed and a joyful day!
Romans 12:12 (NLT)
12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
James 1:2-4 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.