Thursday, March 3
What tests your spiritual endurance?
*lack of a job?
*your spouse’s affair?
*a child with an addiction?
*a husband hooked on porn?
*death of a child or other loved one?
*the twisted knife in your back from your best friend?
On occasion, many of these strike at once causing chaos to overwhelm us. Our eyes spill over with the tears of heartache. Discouragement sets in.
What do we do? Have a pity party? Get in a nasty mood? Throw a fit? Camp out with a negative attitude? Stomp around yelling at everyone?
What happens to our hope? To our faith? To our spiritual endurance?
David wrote, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God!” (Ps. 42:5 NLT)
Who comes to mind as a biblical victor, a spiritual endurer? James wrote, “For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” (James 5:10-11 NLT)
I love reading Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. Listed are the names of all those who persevered from Abel to Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and all the rest…by faith, by faith, by faith. They held to the backside of the cross, having the faith to see what was yet to be. They had no anchor of hope in Christ as we do.
And they all endured!
Our faith walk should be like Abraham’s, for he knew God kept His promises, “He drew strength from his faith, and, while giving the glory to God, remained absolutely convinced that God was able to implement His own promise.” (Rom. 4:21 Phillips)
Paul also said of Abraham, “No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God.” (Rom. 4:20 Amp) His words of praise strengthened his faith, connecting Him to God’s power.
And what of Paul? Didn’t he endure horrendous afflictions?
He said, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” (2 Cor. 4:8-9TLB)
What is your attitude as you endure your trials? Do you hide in the cellar of doubt and worry or hang out in the attic of praise and gratitude? Do you give up or rest in the power of God? Are you a spiritual victim or victor?
Does Jesus say to you, as He did to Peter when he began to be overwhelmed by the waves, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31b NKJV) Or does He say to you as He did to the woman that came to Him on behalf of her demon-possessed daughter, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire”? (Matt. 15:28 NKJV)
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:1-2a NKJV)
As you look to the Lord in your time of trouble, may He complete and perfect your faith that you may be a spiritual victor.