February 26, 2016
So who ever told me that being a Christian was easy forgot to tell me a few things…
Who ever told me that it’s simple that it’s not difficult, forgot a large part of what Jesus actually talks about. Its sometimes very hard!!
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever wondered what is going on when every road you go down you run into struggles that batter against your soul. These situations thrash you around and leave you exhausted from the struggle.
Am I the only one that feels this way?
I am guessing not. What is so awesome is that the Bible talks about this very point. In fact lots of the New and Old Testament talk about persevering through struggles and challenges.
Romans 5:2b-5 And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
NOW Hold on one minute. Are you suggesting, Pastor, that I am suppose to suffer? AND that suffering will produce something more then just sorrow, that suffering will produce something more then just pain!! It produces good??
Well yes in fact that is what I am saying.
When we step into suffering, we must step into it with Jesus Christ, who walks into the "shadow of the valley of death" with us. Hand in hand. If we walk as people, not from this world, but as new creations, all suffering for the name of Jesus, will build perseverance.
That perseverance will build Character. As you draw close to God to weather the storm, you can’t help but have some of Him, Jesus, rub off on you. When you spend that time in perseverance with Jesus, your very nature starts to change.
The byproduct of character is HOPE! Do you understand that all of our suffering that we do as Christians is to build Hope. Our suffering becomes the catalyst of Jesus’ divine nature in our lives. You see even if our suffering brings us to the doorstep of Heaven, can you see that you are at the doorstep of heaven, you have made it to the presences of God, and you have made it to the final place of rest in the loving arms of our Father!
Our Hope is not bound to this earth alone. When we persevere we persevere not for what might happen here on earth alone but for what HAS happened in the heavens. What HAS happened is the salvation of those who believe in Jesus.
That HOPE cannot be taken away or turned by the turmoil in this world, that HOPE is everlasting.
So if you persevere regardless of the cost you will find glory, that is not fleeting, like our lives, but that is eternal.
All of those struggles, all of those problems, and strife’s, and pain, and shame, will lead you to Him, JESUS. They will lead you to heaven’s doorstep, whether that doorstep is here on earth or in the life to come, if you persevere through the trials heaven will come to earth. As Jesus tells us to pray, YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE! Both of these options bring us closer to the risen King Jesus, both of these options show the world around us that we are created by the King of Kings and bought by his blood on the cross.
We may experience struggle in this life, but if we hold onto Jesus Christ, and walk close to Holy Spirit, no struggle will shake the foundation of HOPE that we have for both this life and the next.
Prayer: “Holy Spirit I need you in my struggles, Jesus I need you in my struggles. I welcome you, Jesus Christ, into my struggles. I cannot do this without you. I cannot withstand this storm without you. The waves are to great, the water to untamed. I am unable to calm the storms! BUT I know that you are with me now, and you can calm this storm, but if you don’t I will still trust in you, for I am not alone, I am not alone in your presence and I know that if I take you hand and rest in you I will grow, I will grow to the place you need me so that your name can be shown as the greatest name above all others. I know that if I place my trust in you HOPE will abound so great that I will see past the storm. All of this is only because I find my faith in you and you alone. There is no fear in death, no fear in life, for my HOPE is in you alone!! Help me oh God to peruse you and persevere these storms”.