Do you cringe when you hear words like: persecution, tribulation, trials, suffering or hardship? We all experience trials of various types and sizes during our lives. Today we’ll talk about how to minimize the suffering, shorten the duration, and maximize your victory.
Some preachers teach that once we are saved our problems are over. After all, we’ve been rescued out of the kingdom of darkness and adopted into the kingdom of light. Now the all-powerful God is on our side. He loves us. Angels fight for us. A loving God will protect His children, right?
Unfortunately, too many Christians don’t read or understand God’s Word enough to realize the value He places on the trials we face. There is great purpose in allowing hardship in the lives of God’s people… to teach us how to endure, persevere and overcome tribulation God’s way. Sadly, this process is often scorned and avoided at all cost by many of His children.
“Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 (Amplified).
The above scripture describes how we can be blessed by tribulation if we’re not shaken by it. When we persevere through the test God’s way we receive the promise. If we do not correctly understand the worth of suffering and the value of persecution, we become vulnerable to blaming God and cutting off the very power source that we need to overcome.
God certainly doesn’t want us to remain in hardship. He does want us to utilize His power and move through it into victory. If we only look at difficulty as a problem and refuse to see the opportunity it provides, we miss the lessons and growth that God has made available to us.
In heaven, resistance and attack from the enemy are no more. Once we arrive in our heavenly home, our training is behind us. We certainly continue to grow and develop in understanding and revelation, but there is no longer a devil to defeat. There is no sickness, injury or disease to deal with. Sin no longer needs to be overcome. Negative circumstances that come from living in a fallen kingdom, cease to plague us. Even troubled relationships are no longer an issue.
What a glorious time that will be. Our training will be over. The level of maturity we have reached on earth will be what we bring with us to heaven. The level of faith that we developed as we have fought to overcome testing and temptation will be the faith we take with us. The works we have accomplished, will then be judged.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelations 20:12.
While we live in this fallen world, God’s desires that we are transformed from glory to glory. One of the most effective ways for us to grow and transform is persevering through tribulation. We are to become proficient at utilizing the weapons of warfare that we have been provided. We are to develop our faith as we trust God in spite of the worldly circumstances. These are the very things that reveal where our trust is placed–whether in the Lord, in ourselves, or in this world.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.“ 2 Corinthians 3:18.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.“ Ephesians 6:13.
We have been given weapons of warfare that are far superior to anything Satan’s kingdom can raise up against us. But we have to learn to use them. And most don’t learn… unless we have to!!!
For several years I have provided cancer coaching and have observed that once someone is diagnosed, that’s when they become motivated to fight. That’s when they call me. Previous to war being declared, they didn’t have any reason to fight, to learn or to change their lifestyle. But once their life is threatened, they are anxious to learn what cancer is, learn how faith for healing really works. Learn how to fight a spiritual and physical battle to win.
My testimony was much like that. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to grow. I simply didn’t have any realization that I needed to, until cancer hit. That’s when I became a warrior and fought for my life. I won, thanks to God leading me and teaching me. But I had to seek Him FIRST! Then I had to learn His ways and follow His plan. He was faithful… and I fought hard.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (Amplified) was the scripture God gave me to get me started in the battle. “No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].“
That battle was the scariest and most difficult I have ever fought. Yet, I would not trade going through it. The benefits I received far outweighed the difficulty of the battle. I honed my spiritual fighting skills. I learned more about the power of faith than ever before. My absolute trust in God grew to new heights. My confidence in His Word became alive and non-negotiable. All of these wonderful attributes would not have occurred if I had not faced a battle.
God, in His love, allowed that trial to come into my life. He desired that I grow in understanding His ways. Then I had a choice–would I face it His way for my good and His glory… or not? God always has a way to overcome every battle. He wants to teach us His ways and help us learn how to overcome. Much like a child learning to ride a bike, we fall and often fail when first starting. But it we will determine in our heart to learn how to succeed in tribulation, we can learn how to win every battle. He is training His people in preparation for us to reign and rule with Christ during the Millennial age to come. Will you be ready to take your place?
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.
Consider what Paul said, when he was hit with tribulation. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10.
Wow! Paul had learned the secret… that he was the beneficiary of the tribulation. If he dealt with it God’s way. If we can adjust our perspective to line up with God regarding the great benefits that come from trials and tribulation, we begin to grasp the powerful details in scripture that make it easier to persevere and overcome.
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4
Rather than blame God for the hardship, thank Him for trusting you with it. And ask Him to help you overcome the difficulty His way. If you will do that, you will find peace in the midst of the trial and victory at the end of the battle. And when it is over, and you’ve won, you will be grateful for the rewards of that journey, as you receive the victors crown.
Always remember, With God nothing is impossible!
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