November 19, 2013
A Call to Persevere in Hard Times
God made a new covenant through Jesus which started after Jesus died for our sins and was raised three days later so we could have a (right) relationship with God. God’s blood covers all of our sins so when we are faithful to God and either don’t sin or we repent when we do slip up, God will forgive you. Under the new covenant, we are to live by faith and are given a hope that we need to hold tightly to like we are told to in Hebrews 10:23, which says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” It is this hope that will be addressed here.
It is easy to stay in faith when things are going well for you. However, when we face a difficult situation, or worse, a tragedy like loss of a loved one, that is when it is harder to stay rooted in your faith in God. It is during these difficult times that it is the most important time to hold on firmly to your faith without wavering. For example, if a loved one is seriously ill and the doctors don’t think he or she will make it, faith will tell you to pray to God about it and trust that things will work out for the best. This is not always to say the person will live, but it can be the case. Just because the doctor gives a bad report does not mean that time is up for the person being given the bad health report. Remember that it is God who has the final say. If it is not the person’s time to go yet, then God will make the person well. Suddenly they will be healed and will live.
However, when their time is up, like it was with a close family member over 7 years ago, even though you don’t understand why God let them die, trust that they were needed above and that God can heal you and your family and make things right in your world. God has a plan for everything that either he does, or for everything he allows to happen even if he didn’t do it himself. Remember that God can take what was meant for your harm and turn it around in your favor to work for you. Paul tells us in Romans 8:27 and 28, “And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” When you are unsure exactly what to pray for, the Holy Spirit will plead for you. And God will work everything together for your good. You just need to keep believing that, even on your darker days when you feel like giving up or feel it is useless to keep believing. When you refuse to give up and keep on believing, that is when miracles happen.
If something is weighing on your mind, remember what Paul said in Hebrews 10:22: “Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.” If there is still time on the clock board for someone you love who has fallen seriously ill, go to God with sincere and trusting hearts and have faith when you pray to God on your loved one’s behalf. James tells us in James 5:16, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” If you go back one verse to verse 15, James tells us that our prayers offered in faith will heal the sick. So hold firmly to your faith and remember to offer all prayers, whether for yourself or for someone else, in faith and believe in your heart with no shadow of doubt that God can do what you are praying for and will do it for you or the person you are praying for. The only time God says “no” is when he has something better planned for you or the person you are praying for so have faith that he will not say no unless he has a good reason for doing so. That reason probably will not be revealed to you in your lifetime, but you must trust God that he is just and fair and that everything he does is righteous.
When you struggle with your faith, remember that Jesus brought back Lazarus from the dead in John 11. He also brought Jairus’ daughter back from the dead (Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 21-43, and Luke 8:40-56 is where you can find the miracle I am talking about) and healed many who were sick or demon-possessed. He healed every kind of disease when he was here on earth and Jesus still has that same healing power today. He can heal yours and your loved ones health, he can restore your finances, mend your relationships or have you start new relationships that will be healthy and so much better, and he can get you that job you’ve been praying for. Whatever it is that you are in need of, God can turn your situation around in a second with one touch of his hand and give you what you need and more so you can bless others with what he has given to you (sharing with those in need). God does not want us to live in misery, pain, or suffering. He may allow us to go through periods where we are in pain and we suffer, but he always brings us through and better off than we were before the trial or difficult situation, or before the sickness or whatever event it was that was hard to get through. It is during these times our faith is tested and we have the chance to grow spiritually and learn things from our difficult situations. When we hold firmly to our faith during these times, God will see your faith and reward it. Things will get better for you all of a sudden, when you least expect it to and in God’s perfect timing.
The key here is to hold firmly to your faith without wavering. The day you decide to follow Jesus, you need to also make the decision that no matter what you are going through, you will hold firmly to your faith and keep believing and trusting in God and in his faithful promises. There will always be naysayers, times of trial and tribulation, and other strategies that Satan will use to try to get you to give up your promise of eternal life by turning against God, but you must not let the enemy win. Ignore the naysayers and try to avoid them as much as possible and tell your undesirable, unfortunate situation that it is temporary and will pass. Tell it that God is still on the throne and still in control. It is God who has the final say, not any person, circumstance, or the enemy, but God. There will come a day when Jesus will come back for the chosen ones who are in the Book of Names and a new Heaven will be built and those who make it to eternal life with God will no longer suffer from pain, sickness, loss, or any other of the world’s problems current problems. There will be great joy, peace, love, and reuniting with loved ones who are no longer with us here on earth right now. Keep your eyes focused on God and his faithful promises and hold firmly to your hope and your faith and look forward to this day where eternal life in Heaven with new bodies that are immortal will begin and last forever after. Also look forward to better days ahead for you while you are still here on earth. King David said in Psalm 30:5, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Pain and suffering are temporary, but peace and joy will last forever, following us into our eternal life in Heaven with God and Jesus. Each day wake up with the hope that this will be the day your situation turns around for the better and then you will see that day actually happen in your life and you will rejoice and thank God. Don’t stop there though with just hoping and praying. Let your actions display your faith and back up your hope. You can do this by continuing to do God’s work and helping others in need when you see someone with a need and supply it when you are able to, or go to someone who can supply the other person’s need when you are unable to on your own. Continue to do your daily bible study, but don’t just read God’s written word, understand what you are reading and apply it to your life. Honor God in all you do and keep your thoughts on his word and promises and let the words that come out of your mouth be in alignment with what God says. When your thoughts, words, and actions all align with God’s word and God’s will, he notices and it pleases him and you will see better days in your future.