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Believers are set apart for Christ and the work of his kingdom. We have been made holy because the Spirit of God lives and works in us to do good. We have been made righteous. Why is it then that God continues to allow painful trials and distractions in our lives? Wouldn’t it be easier to do his work if he could make our path clear of the same suffering the perishing world endures?
That is something I have thought about many times. I have seen Godly men and women work tirelessly to help bring the lost to Christ only to watch as they suffered hardship and sickness unto death. Persecution of Christians is increasing and believers are being tortured and killed every day. It just doesn’t seem fair. And yet, Scripture tells us that God must allow anything that happens in the life of a believer. In Psalm 84, we are told that “No good does God withhold from those whose lives are righteous”. All those who are in Christ have been made righteous by his blood. So why then is it good that his people suffer?
My friends, I write this message to give hope to those who are facing a battle in life and struggle to believe that Christ is still with them. The enduring love of God never leaves you for a moment in the midst of your trial. He sees your pain and counts your tears. Your cries for help are being heard. He has not forgotten you. He knows how to heal your breaking heart. He can and will make you whole. But, do you trust him enough to let him do it his way and in his timing? It is not easy to hold on in the battle, but to do anything less would be to surrender to the enemy. Don’t sell yourself short. God is sovereign over all. His plan for your life was perfected long before the foundation of the earth. You were bought at a price. He is not going to let you fail after taking you this far.
Every believer in Scripture had to suffer pain and hardship in their walk of faith. They had to trust that God was always with them even through their greatest fears.
In Genesis, Joseph had to endure over 10 years of bondage in a prison which had no light. He had shackles on his neck and feet night and day. And yet he had to trust that his God was still in control. For all those years, he had to wait on God who was preparing him to be the top Commander in the army of Pharaoh. He had no idea God was making him ready for such royalty. He was a young man when he went into prison and for years he mourned the memory of his family. Why did God allow him to withstand such a test? It was because God’s plans for Joseph were greater than any ideas Joseph had for his life. He had to be molded and shaped into the man of God who had the faith needed to do his will. God was going to use him in a mighty way.
And God had a plan. The royal robes that Joseph wore as ruler in Pharaoh’s kingdom were like rags compared to the robes of glory awaiting Joseph when he died.
When Jesus told his disciples what they would have to do to follow him, many of them grumbled and left. Jesus turned to his Apostles and asked them if they were going to leave also. Peter said to Jesus,
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”(John 6:68) Peter was exactly right. Those who stayed with Christ trusted that he was greater than their doubts.
No matter what black cloud is filling your life, there is no one greater than the God who gave you life and who has the power to cause every second of your pain to be used for your good and for his glory. Even if you don’t see God’s hand in your struggle now, you need to know that he is in full control of all that you face. You don’t have to see or feel God to know that he loves you enough to do what is good for you. Let him finish the work he started in you. Don’t doubt him. Those disciples who walked away from Christ had no idea they were leaving their only source of hope in this world. They left the One who could give them everlasting life.
Your situation is timed. Your pain is being monitored. And you are not going to drown in your tears. Christ has a way to take you through your fears and pain. He grieves with you in your trouble. He has a reason for you to face this mountain.
My friends, we are too close to the coming of Christ to give up now and walk away. Cling to the truth. Let your faith be proven genuine. Keep your eyes on Christ. He will never fail you. Even when things are not done your way, trust him with your life! He gave his life for you.
Who can take from you what Christ has died to give you?
I am praying for all who need to believe that Christ is with them in their pain. If you are struggling with your faith, I am praying that you will have the strength to surrender your doubt to Christ and ask for his strength to believe. May you know that He loves you more than you could ever know. He has promised to never leave you, not ever, no matter what you are going through. God is close to the brokenhearted. His word is true. He is with you now. Let him work this out but trust him with the details. Your faith shows the world that you belong to Christ. May God give you his peace and may you know that you are not alone.
Our future is in the hands of God. He alone has numbered our days and it is by his will that we live or die. Many people can trust God with their salvation but then find it difficult to trust him to work things out in their lives.
All around the earth, fear is mounting as we experience an increase in sickness, disease, famine, storms, earthquakes, floods and drought. There has always been sin and evil in this world, but it has now reached a point of no return. Darkness has blanketed the earth because mankind has chosen to remove all traces of God and his laws. When Jesus promised believers to give them peace that surpasses our understanding, he did not mean that our problems and struggles would end. He was telling us that despite the battles we face, his power would be the strength that we needed to overcome and be victorious. That fact is one that many find difficult to believe.
It is hard to wait out the storms of life and trust that things will work out. But, the truth is that God is just as much in power and authority in the darkness as he is in the light. Whatever problem you think you can’t overcome has already been overcome by the power of Christ! There is nothing that can move a believer from the position God has assigned to them from the beginning of time. The recent storms and hurricanes have destroyed houses and has taken down trees, but with all the power of God that is in me, I assure you that no storm ever has any power to hinder a child of God! Christ is coming back soon to make all things new. Do you actually think that he cannot take you to victory even now because of your painful trial?
Just this week my heart was broken by the pain of a man who had visited my blog and began writing to me. He said that he was feeling hopeless and weary. He felt he had no future and that God was just not hearing him. I pointed out to him that all that he was thinking was a lie from the destroyer from hell. God is with us in all things and in all of our pain. This man wanted to believe what I said but he was extremely overwhelmed by an obvious clinical depression. I prayed desperately for him. Yesterday, I got an email from his daughter. Sadly, she informed me that her father had killed himself. He could not take the pain of any more tomorrows. I am crying now as I write this.
Thoughts immediately began filling my mind: Did I say enough? Did I say too much? Did I pray enough for him? I soon realized that the enemy now wanted to discourage me with lies. I did pray for him with all my heart. I take seriously the mission God has given me with my writing. I care about every single person who visits whether they comment or not. I intercede on behalf of everyone who is led here. I could not stop this man from committing suicide, but I can continue to pray for his family and for those like him who feel like there is no hope.
My dear friends, remember that we are in the throes of a vicious battle with evil as time grows short. The enemy will try to take all of your joy and peace if you let him. He wants to destroy families so marriages are failing at an unbelievable alarming rate. Our children are his prime target and he has pulled out all the stops to lead them on the path of destruction. The economy is in a crisis situation as millions of people all over the world are losing homes and jobs with little chance of recovering. Crime, sickness and troubles of every kind are upon us. The struggle is escalating just to stay alive. And unfortunately for that reason, many grow tired and just give up.
We are told throughout Scripture that we will have to endure suffering. What the enemy doesn’t want you to remember is that all that you endure is working out a perfect divine destiny for you. You will not one day be a conqueror. You are one now! The power of the risen Christ is taking you through the darkness even when you can’t see or feel him. He has a purpose for all that he let allows but he knows how to give you his rest despite the battle.
Whatever dark situation you are in, please remember that you are not out of view from the One who sees all. It may seem like you are alone but you will never be. In the battle that you are facing, don’t give up! God is with you in your pain today and he holds your tomorrows in his hand. That is his truth. I ask that you take time each day to read your bible and let the promises of God give you strength in every struggle you face. I am praying now for all who need to understand that there is always hope through Christ.
For I am the LORD, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
I humbly ask that you keep the family of this suicide victim in prayer.
(Picture by Francesco Cosi )