EMBOLDENED IN TRIALS
Friday, 3 May 2019
Acts 14 : 1-20
“Nevertheless, they stayed there a long time, preaching boldly, and the Lord proved their message was from him by giving them power to do great miracles.” - Acts 14:3 [TLB]
Contrary to popular thinking, the path to eternity in heaven is not smooth and easy. Throughout Biblical history we can see servants of God facing hard trials and situations. Saints in the New Testament and Old Testament had to pass through tough ordeals challenging their faith. One common factor we can see through their lives is that none of them went back due to discouragement. They were moving from faith to faith. Praise and prayer were there always in their mouth. Many of the heart refreshing Psalms are on account of these trials.
When we pass through the valley of troubles and hardships, remember the promises of God. There is no crown without a cross. Jesus advised us to carry our own cross and follow Him. He set an example by carrying his own cross and He will surely help us. But there is a condition— Isaiah 57:15 says “He will revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
When Paul wrote the epistle to Romans, it is interesting to note that he dealt with the subject of justification by faith in chapter 4 and immediately he connects it with tribulation in chapter 5: “…we also glory in tribulation…” Also Paul advises Timothy that, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2Timothy 3:12)
God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able (1 Corinthians 10:13). God’s promise is always there that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). When the intensity of the trial increases, remember the greatness of the reward for a winner. Romans 5:3 reminds us that tribulation produces perseverance / patient endurance which again leads to godly character and hope. Such hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). God has a definite purpose for the situations we face in life. It is His knowledge what we undergo in life and it produces perseverance, character, and hope in us. Finally, it rewards us with the crown of life.
The ministry ahead of us may look inconvenient and uncomfortable but we need to press on for the glory of God. Remember it was not convenient or comfortable for Jesus to go through all that He did and hang on the cross for us. Hebrews 12:2 [GNT] encourages us: “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God's throne.”
"We tread a path that has been watered by the tears of the saints and rendered sacred by the shedding of the holy blood on the cross. The Savior trod that path and it is enough that the disciple be as his Master and the servant as his Lord." (Albert Barnes Commentary)
Therefore, we glory in our tribulation!
Heavenly Father help me to face the hardship
so that it will bring greater hope which never fails.
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