One thing that is common to all human being is that we live in a world that is full of pain and challenges which means that at some point in our lives everyone of us will go through or experience these challenges one way or the other.
Some have gone through and come out of it, some are currently in it. One thing we should know is that it is not out of place to experience challenges especially as a child of God and the higher we grow the higher the challenges.
According to John 16:33, There will always be challenges in this world but thank God He has won the victory
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
Challenges comes in different forms and ways, it could be in form of attack on your Health, Finance, Family, Academics, work, relationship.
As child of God if you are not deeply rooted in in the word when you go through these trials you can easily be overwhelmed and start second guessing your faith thereby allowing all sorts of ungodly thoughts access into your mind and if not resisted immediately can cause one to backslide and miss the way.
The devil which is our common enemy is always in contention with our minds, so give no opportunity to him.
Essentially, challenges does two things; it can either make of break which all depends on how you react to it especially in managing it.
Know that no matter what you are going through, you are not the first and you are also not alone. Jesus went through it, Job went it it and what about the apostles? They are did and came out victorious.
God’s promise to us in Isaiah 43:2
When we passes through the waters, He will be with us; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow us: when we walk through the fire, we shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon us.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. Romans 5:3
This is so reassuring and to know that God is and will always be with us irrespective of the circumstances we might or currently going through in life.
With this assured promises from God to us we should have the right attitude and mindset especially whenever we face any challenge in life. Instead of crying and fretting over that unpleasant situation, speak to that situation and remind the problem who and how big your God is.
Encourage yourself in the Lord, speak faith, speak hope, speak victory, speak life.
Tell that sickness you are healed by His strips and your body is the temple of God.
Tell that failure that stirs you in the face that you are more than a conqueror.
Remind that sorrow that the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Tell that lack that your God owns the cattle upon a thousand hills and He’s your sufficiency.
Tell that fear God has given you the spirit of power, love and sound mind.
Tell that delay that you will wait till your change comes, it may seem slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.
Many thanks for stopping by, until next time..
May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.
Are you aware That millions of people The world over Live on air? How many full plates A day do you savour? And are you aware That people return To their creator Like raindrops From the sky On a daily basis? There is untold suffering On our planet; But only some people Experience that heat; Some swim in a pool Of opulence; With no idea Of the wildfire Of suffering raging On the mountain. Humanity has to return To the drawing board To reset the rules. We dont have a scarcity Of bread; We have a poor distribution system; Shouting a clear And loud call for revision.
If you have been tortured By love, You may hate to hear The word mentioned; Many people have suffered In the cruel hands of love; And today, They are most suspicious Of love; We all want to be touched By the soft hands of love; But more often than not, It’s with the cruel ones Love touches us. Thus, pits us againt love. Have you been touched By the soft hands of love Or the cruel hands of love? May the cruel hands of love Never touch you! May you everyday be caressed By the soft, gentle hands Of love!
He suffered On the way to Calvary; He suffered with his cross, He suffered on the cross; He suffered in the hands Of cruel people; Are you suffering; Stop it if you can; You were not born To suffer; You bring suffering On yourself Through your doings, Your failures Your disobedience; But often also, Despite your effort To keep away suffering It will still take hold Of you, You must take it With fortitude, And let His will be done; He accepted suffering; He bore it with courage; In your suffering Turn to Him for strength Like his; He will grant you His grace To bear your suffering While it lasts.
In Cameroon’s English-speaking part, lives are being lost, houses are burned down or destroyed, hospitals and schools have been burnt down, people are kidnapped, tortured and killed, heavy ransom are demanded, enemies are settling scores; no one is sure of living till the next day. It is a traumatic situation. Many are unable to go bury their loved ones when they die. Isn’t hell better?
Is there no one to help? Does no one care? The Church is consoling, preaching love, peace and reconciliation. See below. But can’t anyone help?
4: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
Notice the words used by the dictionary; ‘pains…trials…provocation…strain…opposition…difficulty, and adversity.’
The price of patience is far more than momentary irritation at being delayed. It is the price of pain, trials, and adversity.
In other words, a truly patient person will be one who endures suffering, and that is a reality all seek to avoid. It makes patience the hardest of virtues.
The Patience of Job
The quintessential story of profound patience is the account of Job from the Old Testament. Traditionally, if someone says that another “has the patience of Job,” it was considered a compliment.
The meaning behind this is that because Job stoically endured great suffering, he exhibited great patience. However, a mini-exposition of the book of Job reveals that patient waiting has a different character than we might believe.
Chapters one and two set the stage. God gives permission for Satan to test Job’s faith, and Satan proceeds to destroy all that Job has or loves.
Job literally sits on the ash-heap of his life in apparent silence for the next seven days. Then, in chapter 3, Job comes to the end of his silence by cursing the day he was born.
His ‘friends’ who had sat with him in silence then speak. For most of the rest of the story, they trash Job and claim he must’ve sinned grievously or else these bad things wouldn’t have happened.
The End of Job’s Patience
Job refuses their judgment and defends his wish for God to end his life, as well as defending himself against the charges of his companions. The bulk of Job’s defense is not to excuse himself but to cry out pleading that God explain why this is happening.
Finally, after several pleas and complaints by Job to God, and rebukes of Job by the others, God responds beginning in chapter 38. The Divine words mark the end of both Job’s patience and complaints and hold the key to how patience is indeed a virtue.
Chapter’s 38-41 feature God seemingly scolding Job for his complaints. Job’s words in chapter 42 reveal that he recognizes his ignorance in the face of his suffering.
…Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Job 42:3 [ESV]
Job suffered grievously and that caused him to question his faith in God’s judgment. After God spoke, Job repented of his complaints and humbled himself before God.
The LORD speaks after Job’s repentance and provides us with a crucial fact about patience.
After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Job 42:7 [ESV]
What was the biggest difference between what Job’s friends said and what Job said? The three friends talked to Job, while Job addressed God.
True Patience Results From Faith
When the statements of Job’s friends are examined, they contain basically two things. One is a condemnation of Job and the other is a defense of God’s seeming judgment upon him.
When Job speaks, he is also saying two things. He defends his character and directs his hurt and questioning to God.
In other words, Job talked to God, while the others just talked about God. That is the difference of faith.
Real patience is not simply waiting on God; it is waiting for God. It isn’t to ‘let go and let God,’ it is to let go and seek God even more in the middle of trials and suffering.
Author Philip Yancey explains it this way in his book, “Disappointment With God,”
…the more important battle, as shown in Job, takes place inside us. Will we trust God? Job teaches that at that moment when faith is hardest and least likely, then faith in most needed.
Patience is a virtue because it places faith in what the LORD is doing for His ultimate purposes, even when it involves suffering for us. It puts God on the throne of life and kicks us off of it.
That was a lesson Jesus taught while on earth all the way to His own suffering for us on the cross. He trusted and followed God the Father patiently and would not remove Himself from suffering He knew would come.
Patience is a reflection of faithfully turning to God.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 [KJV]
A Great Example in the Midst of Loss
I preached many hundreds of sermons in my 20 years as a pastor. I have listened to many times that amount of messages in my life.
One message touched especially moved me and it is appropriate to mention it here for it exemplifies patience applied in the midst of great sorrow. The late evangelist and pastor E.V. Hill preached this as his wife’s eulogy.
I have listened to this many times and each time brings me to tears. I urge any who suffer trials today to hear this, for it is a great example of real and righteous patience.
May the LORD bless you and keep you faithfully patient in and through every trial now and forever. Next time we will look at the virtue of Kindness.
Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001 The Holy Bible, King James Version, Public Domain
“Disappointment With God” by Philip Yancy, Zondervan, 1988
Top image courtesy of Jim Surkamp’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset image 1 courtesy of artjouer street art’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License Inset image 2 courtesy of Maltz Evan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset image 3 courtesy of Art4TheGlryOfGod Photography by Sharon’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License