As has been written about numerous times; it is easy to stand for God and sing His praises when there is no financial, physical, emotional or relationship pressure. When there is money in the bank, the body is doing well, the mind is fresh and alert and the relationships one has are all perfect; it is very easy to sit back, count one s blessings, smile and be content in our Christian faith.
When all is going well, that is the time to go on mission trips, volunteer to do charity work or other acts of giving. Paul says we should rejoice in those times when we have an abundance of money, good health, peace and love. Certainly God has promised such times and delights in our delighting in them. But, Paul also said that we should rejoice in adversity and times of need.
That which defines our faith is not how many good times we have but rather our ability to be content in whatever state we are in. That which defines our personal faith and spiritual character is our ability and willingness to handle loss, deal with pressure and graciously accept those times when things do not work out, and still PRAISE GOD.
Please look again at the words to one of the greatest hymns ever written, Martin Luther s "A Mighty Fortress is our God":
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevaling. For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right man on our side, the man of God's own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth, his name, from age to age the same, and he must win the battle. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us. The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him. That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth; the Spirit and the gifts are ours, thru him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill; God's truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever.
I cannot begin to relate all the times various lines in this hymn have pulled me through difficult times in my life. I cannot begin to express the way this hymn has stiffened my resolve to never compromise the Word of God or water down the truth. I cannot begin to tell you how much this hymn means to me and how thankful I am Martin Luther wrote it.
No matter what befalls us in this life, God is faithful. No matter what happens outwardly to us, the inward reality of what God has given us and made us in Christ remains unchanged. No matter what they may do to our body, soul, mind or family; God is still true and we will forever bask in His eternal rewards promised to those who remain faithful to Him in this life.
Please do not be afraid when the enemy seeks to dismay you. Please do not fall to pieces when the pressures of this life seek to break you. Please do not waver in your absolute conviction that nothing that happens in the life can compare to the glory which awaits us for all eternity. All the tribulations, afflictions and heartaches of the present time are nothing but stepping stones to an eternity of indescribable joy and everlasting peace as we dwell forever in love with our Lord.
Great post B2Y. And on the flip side... when things are going well, don't get complacent. Keep your guard up and seek His presence intensely and intimately. Comfort and security invite temptation. All Glory to God.
Looking back on my typical life patterns, things have gone well, others not so good. There have been very few times, (or none) when it was one way or another. I suspect many people are that way. Prayer probably increases when troubles grow. Hopefully faith grows no matter what. - bibleguy64
[q]All the tribulations, afflictions and heartaches of the present time are nothing but stepping stones to an eternity of indescribable joy and everlasting peace as we dwell forever in love with our Lord. [/q]
Thank you for these words. I will remember them.
Another awesome, encouraging blog!
It is clear the Holy Spirit is preparing and strengthening His body for spiritual battle.
It reminded me of something that happened on Sunday at my church. The Holy Spirit spoke a word of edification into my spirit which I shared with my church. I do not do this often but the stirring of the Spirit was so heavy in my spirit, like fire burning in me, I had to speak it out. Someone else needed to hear it other than just me.
He spoke these words through me:
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear. Stand firm in the gap and fight in faith for your loved ones when the enemy comes to attack for the battle is not yours but the Lord's. I will give you all the strength you need to endure. Stand firm in your full armor and having done all continue to stand firm for the victory is yours."
Many of us are in the fight of our lives at this very moment. The battle may be for ourselves and/or it may be for loved ones, but no weapons formed against us will prosper. We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us for God is still our mighty fortress! Thank you for this blog.
My our God bless and strengthen you with His might.
Perseverance, Endurance, focus on Christ all make for a blog of great encouragement and instruction.
Praise God he is always the same and always leads in battle.
[quote]Please do not be afraid when the enemy seeks to dismay you. Please do not fall to pieces when the pressures of this life seek to break you. Please do not waver in your absolute conviction that nothing that happens in the life can compare to the glory which awaits us for all eternity. All the tribulations, afflictions and heartaches of the present time are nothing but stepping stones to an eternity of indescribable joy and everlasting peace as we dwell forever in love with our Lord.[/quote]
Your words warmed my heart, B2y..
This is how we encourage and build up each other.
CB is a wonderful place to be because there are wonderful people in here united by the Most Wonderful God.
[quote]By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John13:35[/quote]