Have you found yourself in one fiery trial after another? Does it seem the hits just keep on coming one after another? For a moment you may have peace and comfort then another attack, persecution, slander, or setback comes out of nowhere. Be encouraged, be of good cheer, and don’t despair. Remember, God has a purpose and good reason for each and every trial that comes your way. The Lord Jesus Christ told His disciple this would happen. He is also speaking to you.
Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:31-33
If you are in the Lord and chosen by His mighty hand to do His work for the Kingdom of God, you will be persecuted. You will have to endure much suffering and hardships to accomplish everything He intends for you to do. But He will take care of you. He will carry you and keep you until your time has come to be joined with Him in glory.
And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22 Strengthen the souls of the disciples, encourage them to continue in the faith, and say that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
Every aspect of life for the follower of Jesus Christ is opposite to the ways and understanding of men in this world. The weak and meek are seen to be strong in God’s eyes. The poor in spirit are rich. The humble are exalted. The fool for Christ is wise. Those who are willing to give generously even to the point of sacrifice are rich and the one who loses his own life, hopes, and dreams for the sake of Christ will save their soul. Building up great rewards in Heaven.
Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26
Do not be surprised when you fall into all kinds of tests and trials. The Lord also has to prepare you for what is ahead. He has to craft you into His image, and honestly, that does not come easily. It takes hard work, discipline, and endurance.
Every good and beneficial thing that you have to learn comes with struggle, work, and sweat. Sometimes it even comes with blood and tears. Just as a bodybuilder must work hard and endure much pain and struggle to strengthen and shape his body to achieve his goals. So also the Lord must shape you, with much struggle and pain, into His image so that you will achieve His goals.
Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs, I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. Isaiah 46:3-4
This is why you suffer, this is why you must endure testing and trials. I say again be of good cheer, also rejoice, and be very glad for you have been given the great privilege to share in the sufferings of Christ. You will be richly rewarded for your faithfulness and endurance in your faith in Jesus Christ.
Your hope does not lie in the things of this world, in the accomplishments of your hands, or in the approval of men. But it completely lies in the hands and in the sight of your awesome and holy Lord God the Father. His approval is all that matters. His plan and will are what is important, and the accomplishment of the work He has set out for you to fulfill.
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
May the Lord Bless you greatly and abundantly. May He pour out His wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and His Spirit upon you in every way. May He cut away those things that displease Him, molding, crafting, and shaping you into His image. That you will be better equipped for the journey ahead and for the work He has planned for you from before the foundation of the world.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:12-19