ENCOURAGING OTHERS IN OUR OWN DISCOURAGEMENT
Jesus Did It!
Itís hard to keep going, to move forward and to persevere and endure. Iím not saying we should give upónot at all. Iím just saying itís hard sometimes to keep fighting. Maybe itís just me and Iím way off the mark by saying this, but I think a lot of folks can relate to what Iím saying. Life can throw so many things at us.
The world can booby-trap our paths unceasingly to get us to slide away from Christ. Has Satan thrown enough traps at some to get them to just give up, to not persevere? Yes. I know some of you suffer and itís hard to get through each day, each houróto just survive. Iíve been in this boat sailing toward the edge of the abyss, but yet, Iím still here and Iím persevering.
One of the things I have is fibromyalgia. It is a horrid condition and if you have it, you know. If you know someone who has it, you see how miserable it can be. There are so many variables of pain and fatigue tied to this condition, that to try explain it would be tough.
In a general sense, having fibromyalgia is like having the flu with a normal temperature. The body aches, the fatigue, the muscles pains, etc., but this is just the tip of the iceberg. It goes way beyond that for this is just the normal feeling most of the time.
There are good days but they are outnumbered by worse days. My journey with fibro is a few years old now and I hate it because of the pain and fatigue and the lack of sleep that comes with it. It gets pretty bad sometimes, but Iím not a quitter so I persevere and endure. God is my strength and though I pray for relief and healing, I trust the Lord in my condition regardless whether He answers me or not or gives me a night of rest.
I think to myself, Is this is a test? I remind myself that all of life is a test of perseverance in the Lord, regardless of whether or not it is a disease, finances, temptations or tribulations. We just need to learn to trust in the Lord and persevere. So when Iím talking about it here, Iím not talking out the side of my mouth, Iím living it, just like you.
Is perseverance easy? No. If it were, it wouldnít be called perseverance, would it? I have to look at each day as a day the Lord has made, to be glad and rejoice in it. Easy? Hardly, especially when facing something youíd rather see in the review mirror of life. Before I go to bed for those few hours of slumber, Iím always hoping and praying for a better day and the strength to face it if I donít get relief.
I just remember that each day is another day closer to the next, which can be better. Do I get wound up in my self-pity? Yes, I do sometimes. Some will look down on me for this, but hey, Iím human arenít I?
Iíve been told if I really believe, God WILL heal me. I know this can happen, but in my mind, I know God does things for a reason and allows things for a reason. He has allowed this condition to continue for reasons unknown to me. Job did nothing wrong and look at what happened to him; God allowed Job to suffer for a season and Job persevered and endured with his eyes on God.
Look at Paul and the thorn in his side that God allowed, and He told Paul that His grace was good enough and we are made strong in our weakness. So to those pundits telling me Iím not a good Christian or not faithful enough, I say pick up the Bible and read. Job and Paul persevered and trusted the Lord regardless of what they faced. We can too.
If you suffer, like we all do in one way or another (donít lie to yourself), we can learn from those who suffered to persevere through our own suffering through trust and reliance on God for peace and restóeven in the midst of our problems. Sometimes, I feel like Iíve had enough of this suffering and I just want to give-up.
Give up on what? I donít know, I just want to give up. I get so tired of trials, even in the midst of my trust, that I wish something else would happen. Iím not saying I want my life to end or anything like that, but I just want to give up and, I donít knowÖ I want something to change.
In these moments of perpetual misery, the Holy Spirit urges me onward toward the light of God. Jesus knows what Iím going through and He knows perseverance. He faced both on a level far beyond our comprehension. I think about this, not all the time, but a lot of the time; and then I do and pick my cross back up and walk forward toward heaven.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV) says, ďAnd he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Ē
In my moments of weakness, when perseverance seems fleeting to my heart, I remind myself that Godís strength is with me and refines me through my trials. This verse helps me to keep going. It helps me to face the day. To get through the day with God at the front of my mind, at the end of it, I can say, ďYes, He is with me and helps me endure.Ē
I know I must endure, in every facet of my life, specifically, those things causing me trouble. Itís not just my health, but all the other things in life seemingly getting in the way in my walk with Christ.
In Romans 5:3-4, we are told to glory in our tribulations because when we endure them, they build in us patience and hope; patience in waiting on the Lord and hope in Him as well. When we work to persevere and endure problems in our lives, we desire so much for them to be fixed immediately. We want change this minute and not a second later.
Romans 5:3-4 tells us to endure. We must have patience in the Lord to help us endure our situations. We need to accept those things we cannot change on our own and trust that the Lord is working in us betterment in these situations on His timeline. Regardless of what we may want in the time we want it, God has His own plans for us. We just need to let go of our wills and let His will be done in us.
For some of us, perseverance is hard to deal with and accept in our Christian faith. We have health problems, financial problems, and family problemsóto name a few. We desire quick fixes and quick action from God. When we donít get what we want we can walk away or draw nearer to God in that moment. This is the crossroads for us to either hold on to Him or let go.
Keeping faith and hope in God and His grace to help us endure and persevere is paramount in our walk with Him. We donít want to grow stagnant in our relationship with Him, nor do we want to step away from Him.
What we need to want is His strength. When weíre tempted to throw in the towel is the time when we need to focus on Him the most. Persevere my friends. You may need to persevere for a short time, a season, or a lifetime. Regardless, our focus should not be on when or what but it needs to be on Him. God bless.
Our suffering in Christ will not go unrewarded: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
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