Persevering through hard times.
At some time or another, life is going to be hard for you and for me. In the Gospel of John 16, Jesus speaks to his disciples, warning them of his death. He tells them, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” What was he doing there? He wanted to prepare them, telling them in advance what would happen, so that they could have a proper response and have peace.
How to be prepared with the proper response to have peace.
For Christians, because we have an enemy who tries to gains advantage over us, hard times don’t just come by themselves. There are lies. The enemy attacks the moment you come up against something hard.
Keys to understand and to be able to oppose those lies effectively.
- First lie enemy will tell you: Pain that derives when you are trying to do the will of God. The enemy comes and whispers in your ear. He lies to you. “This isn’t the will of God,” he’ll say. He will try to convince you hard isn’t from God. Combat it with a sword. Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” God’s will is a little suffering on someone else’s behalf.
- Acts 9:1-19 v. 15-16: “… Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Saul was a pharisee. He is bent on shutting down Jesus. But, when Saul he meets Jesus, things change. Saul knew it was not going to be easy to follow Jesus.
- Does that mean suffering is from God? Not necessarily, but it is going to be hard to obey God and do His will because it is a fallen world. He has victory for us, but it is going to put you in some hard parts to do His will. (Matthew 10:34-36)
- When you tell the world of Jesus, many times you will offend people and get rejected. The enemy will try to sell you that lie, “hard can’t be from God.” Now we know though, hard can be from God.
- So, the next time the enemy comes to you and says, “this is not from God,” you can tell him, “Devil, go to hell where you belong. I am standing hand in hand with Jesus. He will help me.”
How to endure suffering.
- First of all, understand and properly combat the lies with scripture.
- Then, find someone to go through it with you. That is our job of brothers and sisters. We need to bare each others burden. Find some people you can really bare your heart with and pray with. You need to fellowship consistently. Find a place.
- For us, when someone gives you a preview into their pain, don’t look over it. Delve in deep.