When I was a new Christian, I had the common misconception that once I accepted Christ as my Savior all would be well. All my problems would be a thing of the past. Life would be smooth sailing from here on out. You see, I had a distorted perspective of what Gods blessings are and what my purpose is. It didn’t take long before God revealed Himself to me and straightened out my flawed thinking. I learned that my comfort and desires were not the most important thing in life. I had thought of my life as just that- “my life”, but my life is more than that, it’s Jesus’s life. My physical discomfort, the trials, the areas of weakness and my heartaches are that what drive me to God, keeping me close by. All these things are a witness to others, and as they see me, hopefully they will see Christ in me as well. In this way, a lost world can be reached for God’s kingdom. As others see God provide strength and comfort and grace in my life, it is a testament to His faithfulness. When something great is done and I’m involved, it is despite my flaws and a testament to Gods power and glory. It’s easy to want to give up when life gets tough, but if I remember that my life isn’t all about me I can be strong and on fire for God. God is also using your situation to reach, teach, comfort and glorify Himself to you and those in your area of influence. Don’t lose heart when things get tough. Just know that it matters in Gods kingdom work. And he loves you enough to keep you close to his heart.
Has the bottom of your world fallen out? Are you wondering what may happen next? When your world turns upside down, it can be a frightening thing. It may feel like you’re the only one with such unfortunate circumstances, but all of us are subject to problems at least at some point in our lives. It’s hard to find anything positive in a troubling situation, especially while you’re in the midst of it. Anger or bitterness may fill your heart. Anger at the situation you find yourself in or anger at God for allowing it or anger about everything. It’s easy to be shaken to the core of your being when illness, death of a loved one or even loss of financial resources, fall upon you like a dark cloud. But, there’s always hope. Hope that is based on God and the belief that something good will come of your hardship. Having trust and faith in God’s loving kindness and believing that He will use your situation to produce good in your life, will bring back the joy you may have lost. Then you are in a position to be fruitful for God’s kingdom more than ever before. The very thing that you thought to be insurmountable may be your launching pad to enable you to reach a new level of trust, faith, service and intimacy with God. You just need to climb atop of your situation and let the crisis become your blessing in disguise.
Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, “shake well before using.”
That is what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake
them well before they are ever usable.
Having been through my share of trials, I know it can feel overwhelming when you’re in the midst of a trying situation. I’m here to tell you to hold on and remain steadfast in your faith. Cling to God with all your might and keep claiming the promises of His word. The promise that he will never leave you or forsake you, and the promise that if you’ve asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, all things will work together for good. Things have a way of working out in the long run.
You will feel joy, hope and peace again. Not only will you experience those good things, your relationship with God will grow as you’ve been through the valley with Him and you learn that He has been by your side the whole time. Trials only strengthen the walk we have with God or show us something in ourselves that we didn’t know. Something that God knew we needed to see. The trial you’re in right now will help you feel true compassion that you can share with other people who you encounter in your life. Other people who are walking in a similar valley that you have walked or are continuing to walk in. You will become a minister of grace to others when you truly understand, pardon and cry with them in their situation. You can comfort them from a heart that is non-judgmental, because you’ve been in their shoes. God will use your particular situation for His kingdom work. Just keep on trusting in Him.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Let’s look at this passage closer. I want to know more about the word hope. I need hope, don’t you?
Hope is a word used extensively by most people. We use the word to express what we want to happen. We use it very frequently, or at least I do, but what does it really mean to hope? After gleaning new insight from studying the word “praise” the other day, I decided to look deeper into the meaning of the word “hope” in reference to Romans 5:2-5
So I’ll start with an online dictionary: Merriam Websters
Here’s what I found: verb
- Intransitive verb- To cherish a desire with anticipation
- transitive verb -To desire with expectation of obtainment – to expect with confidence, trust.
Ran across this photo on Facebook and it really caught my attention. First off, it is cute and so colorful. I dig the clowns purple jacket. It’s also kinda scary. Ever since I read the book “It” by Steven King, I sometimes get a little freaked out by clowns. Pennywise, the sinister clown, infiltrated my psyche through those pages I read years ago. Which only proves that you really do need to watch what you let into your mind, as it can stay a long time.
After looking at the initial design and reading the text, I had to stop and think for a minute. Charles Spurgeon aka “The Prince of Preachers” what was he getting at? Are we the church in this time that he referred to? Do people really just want to get entertained by the pastor? Be thrilled by his preaching ability and way with words, even if the words are empty as if something is not being addressed? Or do we want to be fed, even if we have to choke a bit on what we’re eating?
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12.
Under trial... not easy to eat that, is it? Especially when it applies to you. Are we becoming a bunch of goats that are hard-headed and stubborn or are we mild-mannered, teachable and humble like sheep? Unfortunately, I think there’s a lot of clowns and goats filling our churches and auditoriums today. It’s apparent on TV daily and in our book stores. Part of the problem is that as people we have lost some of our toughness. We don’t know what it’s like to set sail for a new country as our forefathers did, risking life and limb to have a chance at a new life. How many of us have had to start a homestead from scratch and build our own homes or slaughter our own pigs for dinner? We’re all soft and filled with fluff wanting to rest in Zion, to live in ease without toil. Only thing is that’s not always the way God intends for your life to go. Yes, the gospel is one of victory and triumph, but we must never leave out that it is also about sacrifice, suffering and trials. Holding onto faith when you’ve reached your limits. Seeking God even in your sorrows. Let’s all stay vigilant that we always seek to hear and discern what is the full truth from Gods word or we’ll just be a bunch of clowns and goats playing church.