(I had a girls weekend with Mom and visited her church this week and saw several people baptized. It was the most precious thing! These people were so broken and you could see the effects of a hard life on many of them-but also a HOPE for a future that would be different. The joy in their faces after coming out of the water was the most beautiful thing. They were not taking this lightly, they were giving all they had to God.
Oh Lord please remind us of that joy we felt at the cleansing and renewing of baptism!)
Here is what I have on my heart this morning, for so many people I care about that are hurting:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” NIV
Make no mistake about it, you will have trouble. If you are reading this, there is a good chance you are in the middle of a storm right now. God’s word tells us that we will have trials and then tells us to rejoice in them.
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
I used to believe that God never wanted us to walk through anything hard and that if we did He would ‘rescue’ us if we prayed, rebuked, and confessed the Word enough. However, the truth is that He allows some storms and trials to develop perseverance, character and hope in us. Think about the three Hebrew children, I am sure they would rather have avoided the fiery furnace altogether, but if they had, they never would have walked together with the Son of God. And they came out…I love this…not even smelling like smoke!
What about Daniel? I am sure he was shaking in his boots just a little as he was thrown into a den filled with hungry lions! That is not my idea of a walk in the park-what happened to leading me to green pastures beside cool waters? After all, Daniel was doing the right thing! He did not deserve punishment like this. However, Daniel ends up making friends with the lions and hanging out with angels. God did not forget about him, God was right there with him protecting him the whole time.
Are you seeing a pattern here? God never leaves us.
When we feel pain, we assume that God must not be with us, because surely it would not hurt if He were here. We forget that He told us, “In this world you will have tribulation.”
Webster’s dictionary defines tribulation as: distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution. Tribulation is painful! So the promise that He is with us, is life changing!
We need to know that He is walking through every trial with us, and that His Word is more trusted than the words of our closest friends or enemies! He loves us infinitely more than we can imagine!