When we are suffering physically or passing through a time of great trial, it doesn’t seem possible that any good could ever come out of it. Yet Paul says we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials; and the reason we do is that, though at the time we cannot see it, something good is going to come out of the trial. The suffering itself is not good but the patience, the experience, the hope that spring from it is very good.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 5:3-4
When we face trials that are outside of our control, we are made to learn the lesson of patience. Whether we want to or not, we have to wait. We don’t get what we want immediately. But so often, when the trial is finally lifted, we are able to see how God has used even this difficulty to shape our lives, and the lives of others perhaps, in ways that we could never have imagined. Thus, trials give us experience of God’s wisdom and faithfulness.
In the time of suffering we come to place great value on the promises of God. We may know the promises by memory, but they are never so full of meaning as when we claim them in our darkest hours and deepest struggles. The patience and experience we have gained from past deliverances gives us hope to trust in the Lord and in His promises.
Good has come from our trials because we now have a greater sense our weakness and God’s strength. We have been drawn to a closer walk with Him, and His promises are not just words but a reality in our life. So with Paul we “we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials.”
We have to change our attitude and rejoice in the Lord and we have to thank Him in advance for what we are praying for. Adjusting our attitude will radically change our perspective. We can’t fight against are battles alone we must face a spiritual battle, and we must fight with superior firepower—with prayer that’s bolstered by rejoicing, praising and declaring the Word of God, which is His war strategy for giving us this victory. We must choose to rejoice, no matter what our situation looks like. God wants us to dance, to praise Him before the breakthrough occurs.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:25-25
As we see in this passage and many times throughout Scripture that God sent the victory after His people thanked Him. While we’re standing on God’s Word, waiting for Him to bring the victory, praise Him. Praise is the vital co-ingredient that will push through the answer to our prayer. Praise is the act of faith that lets God know we trust His promise to come through for us. Putting more praise on our scales will balance out the unbelief and doubt every time.
The alternative—depression—certain ly doesn’t make anything happen, except create a roadblock to answered prayer. The enemy of our soul wants to put up Hoover Dam-sized walls between our petitions and the manifestation. Jesus said answered prayer would be one of the ongoing sources of our joy: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. … These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:7, 11). So lets just stay in His presence, stand on His Word and begin to rejoice for the manifestation of our prayers.
The way we can appropriate God’s strength is to spend time in His presence, seeking His face, and developing a deeper relationship with Him. If we want to live the abundant, victorious life that Jesus died to give us, then we are going to have to spend concentrated time seeking Him on a daily basis. How do you get to really know someone? You spend time with them, of course. You communicate with each other, and you share yourselves with each other. Our relationship with God is no different. Getting to know God takes time and effort, but it is most definitely worth it.
“Search for the Lord and for his strength, continually seek him. ”Psalm 105:4
We also acquire God’s strength by spending time in His Word–reading it, studying it, meditating upon it, and applying it to our lives and circumstances. By exercising these biblical principles, we literally fill ourselves with God’s Word. And a Word-filled believer is a powerful believer.
As soldiers of Christ, we are in a constant battle with Satan and the forces of evil. The Lord never meant for us to be weak and weary warriors; He re-created us in Christ to be over-comers. And we can find boundless strength from devoting ourselves to God’s Word.
Scripture says: ” Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. “Psalm 119:49-50 The Bible is filled with thousands of supernatural promises that have the power to strengthen us in hard, and seemingly hopeless, times. If we will claim them in faith, we’ll receive all the help of heaven in every situation we face.
No matter what difficult places you may be walking through today, the Lord wants to transform them into places of blessing and refreshment. Call upon Him now, and let Him fill you with the strength that only He can give.
I just love these passages below in this Psalm. The Lord reminds us daily that our help comes from Him. We look to the Creator of the hills for help, not to the hills themselves. We need to thank Him today that He has allowed adversities in our lives that we may know that He alone is our Helper, our Deliver, our God. We need His help in everything. Remembering that apart from Christ, I can do nothing. So today, as you rise to prepare for whatever your day will bring meditate on the Words of the Lord in this Psalm.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills– From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow you stumble, the one who watches over you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:1-3
In Psalm 121, verse 3, God also reminds us that as we rested in the night, He worked. He did not sleep all night! He labored on our behalf through the night, and not just last night…every night! We do not have to run to Him for help this morning in order that He work on our behalf. He labors on our behalf because He loves us, because that is His character, because He says that He “works for those who wait for Him (Isaiah. 64:4).”
God loves to show His tireless power and wisdom and goodness by working for people who trust Him. Jesus Himself is the clearest revelation of this truth: ‘The Son of man also came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45).”
The Lord is so faithful. He is amazing! It is mighty to meditate on the fact that the Living God, the Creator of the universe, labors continually on my behalf, on your behalf. What an encouragement to rest in Him, to serve Him today and every day, knowing that it is He who is at work in us and not us at work in Him! He is our strength and He is our portion.
In whatever you have planned in your day, He is there. He is paving the way. He is already helping you today. May you enjoy the blessing of knowing that God is working for YOU today and always!
All of us know weakness. Weakness comes in many forms: failing bodies, wounded hearts, emotional anguish, relational strain, mental instability. We can’t escape it, and the truth is that weakness—no matter how it meets us—forces us into waiting. We have to wait for someone bigger than we are to fix what is broken, to right what is wrong. Although we don’t like it, I’m learning that weakness is actually a gift to us, because my weakness is a bridge to Jesus. This is what threads throughout the whole of the Gospels: Jesus encounters people in their weakness and reveals His ability to fill the space between who they are and who they want to be. Consider the blind men who cried out to Jesus on the road for healing or the woman stooped over at the synagogue—it was their weakness and need that drew them to Jesus. The bleeding woman encountered Jesus because she needed a touch from someone greater than herself. Ultimately, it was her weakness that led her to Him.
Weakness points us to our need for a Savior. The weaknesses that force us—that lead us—into waiting can be a blessing. God does not create evil, but he can allow weakness in our lives to lead us into a place of waiting where we are solely dependent upon him. This is usually an unwanted but beautiful gift. The gift of weakness is that it leads us to the only strong One. And His strength is enough for us. Enough for this day. Enough for this life. More than enough, actually. It is all that we need.
The world has a way to discouraging us from serving God. When things are not going according to plan, the world will make fun of us and ridicule us for putting all of our trust in God. The world does not understand the ways of God and they do not understand how a loving God could allow us to suffer the way that we do. Waiting on the Lord is never easy. Patience is a precious promise from God that we can add to our life when we put our hope in HIM. When we put our focus upon the things of God, the world will attack us for the choices that we have made. I hope and pray this encourages as you continue to put your hope in the things of the Lord. Love you all.
“Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel.” Psalm 69:6
The world desires to make us ashamed of the choices we have made so that they feel justified in the decisions that they have made. The world knows that if there is a God, they are in trouble and rather than change their own ways, it would be easier to take care of their guilt by trying to get you to change then for them to change themselves.
When you put your hope in the things of the Lord, do not allow the world to distract you from God’s best for your life. Once you have determined that you are going to wait for God’s best, you need to be ready for the attacks from the enemy. Satan is going to bring attacks to test your resolve. Satan knows that God’s best for your life is never good for him. Satan knows that if you wait patiently for God’s best, there will be a powerful testimony that can touch the lives of others and encourage others to live a life that is pleasing unto the Lord. Satan understands that it is better to get you to give up early then to let you wait a long time and see God’s blessing.
In this Psalm, David understands that he will need to wait on the Lord. David understands that there will be things that happen that will persuade him from not pursuing the perfect timing of God. As such, David very wisely is praying to God and asking God not to allow him to become ashamed of waiting. David is basically asking God to keep him from temptation while he is serving the Lord. David knows that the attacks of the enemy will come. We need to follow the example of David. We need to ask God to protect us while we wait on HIM.
Many people go through life looking for satisfaction in the world around them, only to be disappointed and unfulfilled. The peace that surpasses all human understanding can be found in only one place, and that place is not in this world. It is in Jesus, who said He both left and gave us peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Does life have you down? Are you regretful over yesterday or anxious about tomorrow? You will not find lasting peace in the world around you, in circumstances or in human relationships. Jesus said He was not of this world, and neither are we, His followers. The world is enemy territory, so if we look to the world for satisfaction, we will ultimately be disappointed.
The external world is always in a state of confusion under the curse of death and decay. We need to let go of our grip on the world and grasp hold of the hand of our Savior, who came to overcome the world (John 16:33). The peace that comes from Jesus cures fear and fright. A relationship with Jesus is the only one that can give us present peace. True peace is vertical (reaching up to God) rather than horizontal (looking to others and the world).
We cannot know the future, but we can know with certainty that we will have unforeseen difficulties that take us by surprise. This happens to everyone. While some appear to live a fairly trouble-free life, we cannot know what may be happening in their lives. But one thing is certain. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery, but with Jesus, today can be a day of peace.