If we decide to live a life for this world or Christ, life will still be either easy to handle or very difficult. For Christians that live a life for the Lord, it does not mean that we will be excluded from going through hard times. Life will still have its challenges and take its toll on everyone. Just because we are different and look to God in faith, it does not mean that trials will not fall upon us as well. We, as much as anyone else, can’t escape these things. However, what happens in these moments is much different for a Christian when compared to a un-saved person. To the un-saved person, depression, doubt, fear and guilt may settle into a their heart, making them feel uneasy about their life and their path ahead. This only compounds the difficulties and makes things worse. Now, with a saved Christian, prayer will make everything better. It is because we have a close relationship with the Lord that we will come to realize that these things are happening for a reason and that it must be in God’s plan. For this reason, we continue to put our trust in God, even in the hardest of circumstances. We know that if this is supposed to happen than God has something else in store for us because of this. Now please understand that although we will be comforted by the Lord’s peace, as we trust in Him, this does not mean that living for Him will get any better. Sometimes God calls us to bear witness for Him, even if it means that we will be greatly persecuted and even put to death because of our testimony of Christ. This is when our faith is tested and God will know if we are ready to die for Him. These are those that are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
Paul taught, 3“for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” He surely was a man of God who loved the Lord, even if it meant great persecution would be in his path or his own death. He went through many trials and tribulations while He was doing His ministry on the streets and in the Jewish synagogues, while doing it all with great courage. The people were not always so kind to him, as he was almost stoned to death because of his faith once. It is recorded that 2“there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city.” Later on, the Jews even got to the point where they 3“bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.” To the average person, this would really devastate them. However, this was not the case for Paul. He trusted in God through the good and bad times. This is why the Lord appeared to him and said, 3“be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” His witness would continue and the Lord God would carry him through it all. So please understand that trials are a part of our lives. It just matters what we do in trials that makes or breaks a person. And with God, we are able to grow in the faith and continue with hope in Christ.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that Your peace will come over us and bear us up when trials hit our lives. We know that in this life, we will all go through good and bad times. I just pray that in these bad times that You will comfort us and give us the strength to carry on. I no longer wish to go through these difficult times on my own. I know how these hard times have hurt me and made me feel, and I never want to go through that pain again. In trusting in myself there is only pain, remorse, depression and guilt. It is hard to escape these feelings. These types of feelings can really do some damage to my soul and put me in a very dark place in life. However, when I trust in You, God, there is only peace, comfort, strength, love, and so much light. We are led out of these trying times and led on a new path. It is so awesome to transfer my burdens upon Your shoulders. This way I no longer have to bear the difficulties of a job loss, financial issues, or death in the family on my own. It is because You have my hand and are ready to lift me up on Your shoulders that I can carry on. In doing this, You are able to lead me to people in the faith that are able to care for me and help lift my burdens. I know this to be true, for in my recent job loss, You never left my side. In prayer, You led me to friends in the faith that really came through for me. Now I am in a really good place in my life. This is all You had a hand it. Things would be very difficult now if You had not stepped in and helped through it. I love You Lord. I trust in You above all things. Thank You for helping me. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Acts 14:12-22 (KJV)
12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
2Acts 23:1-12 (KJV)
1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest?
5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
3Romans 1:15-19 (KJV)
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.