Have you ever felt like you’ve reached the end or your rope, and just couldn’t take any more? Have you ever felt like life was just too hard and it’s not worth trying to overcome or make a difference?
Well, if you’ve ever felt that way, let me offer you an extra knot to tie to the end of your rope, so the next time you feel that way you’ll have some help holding on.
Let’s start with a scripture that offers a lot of hope to those who hold on.
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
I don’t know anyone who has not had their share of trials. I have two children who deal with an almost daily trial of Crohn’s disease. Then their mother and I have to deal with the trial of having sick adult children who spend a lot of time in pain; and whose lives are greatly complicated by the disease.
You would think that if we are walking with God, life should be a little easier, yet most of the time it isn’t. You would think that our prayers for healing would be answered, and we would no longer have to deal with this disease, but they’re not.
So, we often scratch our heads and ask, why?
Well, let’s look at some scriptures and see what the bible says about the kind of things we go through and/or have to deal with.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
The trials we go through test our works, and who we are inside. They are either helping to refine, and develop the character needed to be in God’s Kingdom; or they are helping reveal our lack of character. Either way, it helps us to grow spiritually and draw closer to God.
1 Corinthians 4:11-13 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the off scouring of all things until now.
I think that scripture plainly shows that walking with God is not necessarily a ticket to the easy life, but the reward does far out way the struggles we go through in this present life. If you think about it, it seems those closest to God tend to go through the greatest trials.
Does that mean as a Christian that our life has to be filled with hardship and trials all the time? Not at all! It’s just those smooth times don’t seem to have the same impact on us. Plus trials are a part of life, and we develop much more character going through them than we ever do when everything is running smoothly.
So, I think it’s important we ask our self when going through trials; do we do it with the right attitude? Do we pray for and bless those that revile us or treat us badly? Do we endure trials with hope and the end goal in mind?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Did you catch those two statements in verse seven; bears all things and endures all things?
Think about the Apostle Paul, and his call to God three times for relief from a particular trial.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
It can be so hard when going through trials, and crying out to God for relief; that He tells us, in so many words, My grace is sufficient for you, you’ll just have to endure.
Of course, if we lean on Him, He will help us endure the trial, and help us to learn what we need to learn from it.
Due to the length of this post, I have broken it into two parts and invite you to come back on Friday to read “Enduring Trials – Part 2”.