If you’re looking for light and fluffy, then you may want to click away and find some yummy food blog. No offense taken. But if you’re looking for courage to walk through today because this world is revealing, in some way, it’s broken suckethness, then welcome.
One way God often speaks to me is through repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Like, I hear a sermon and the pastor talks about something that I also study in my quiet time that a friend also says in conversation that I also read on the back of a cereal box. And I’m finally like, “Ohhhhh.”
He did that again this week. And I remember the things He repeats to me by writing them down. Lucky you.
I’m not naive. I know that I (and the vast majority of all Americans) have no idea what the world at large means by affliction. Or persecution. But the truth is that Jesus promised affliction and persecution and trouble and tribulation to everyone who follows Him. As always, I’m just here to encourage you.
Jesus promises trouble when He says things that really don’t need much interpretation like, “In this world you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33) As long as we walk this planet, we will have trials. Have you seen the trail of martyrs that line the path of Christian history?
Yet junk happens and we say things like, “I can’t believe this is happening!” Because for a few minutes we forget where we live and what He promised. Or maybe because deep down we really want the prosperity gospel to be true.
But even though He promises trials, He also promises peace. Not necessarily external peace — though we like external peace. But rather internal peace — peace that can define us simply because we’re desperately depending on Him.
I think it was Beth Moore that said, “Sometimes God delivers us from the fires of life while other times He delivers us through the fires of life.” Yes, there will be times when God completely takes away the trial. And we pray for and then praise Him for those miraculous interventions.
But I’ve come to learn that the trials of life can actually serve as a gift to my faith if through them I press into my God. It’s then that the world is perplexed. It’s then that I get to really see with my own eyes that when I’m weak, I’m actually strong.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
(1 Corinthians 15:58)
So what do we do with all of this? Well, we occupy ourselves with Him. We occupy our minds with His truth. We occupy our souls with prayer. We occupy our hearts with worship. We push deeper and deeper into Him so that when (not if) the fires of life come, we are standing in the power of His might, immovable.
It’s time to get a little serious. We will be afflicted. We will be persecuted. We will face troubles. This side of Jesus coming back, it will happen. But it isn’t hopeless. With God’s word filling us, His Spirit empowering us, and other believers standing courageously with us, we can overcome. Jesus has overcome. Our feet can stand immovable.
Fill me, Lord…
How about some old fashioned testifyin’ — how have you seen yourself or someone you love remain immoveable in the face of trial?