Looking Past the Trials and into the Victory
Trials and Tribulations
There are two dangerous mindsets that plague the Christian in today's (and yesterday's) society. Either or both of these mindsets are taught by many of our local churches and adopted by the masses, as truth. These supposed truths, are on opposite sides of the real truth. The truth being a narrow roadway, and these supposed truths being the ditches on either side. Jesus says that the road to heaven is narrow. And indeed it is. And for those of us who desire to take this narrow road, let us beware that it is fraught with ditches on either side. If the Devil cannot get us to travel the broad road, then he will do his darndest to delay or detour us as we take the narrow road. The two dangerous mindsets concern the trials and tribulations that a Christian will encounter in their walk with Christ. The first of these mindsets is the teaching that says we will avoid all manner of suffering and evil if we just do as God directs us to do. This is not found anywhere in the Bible and it can do much damage to the human psyche that has adopted such a teaching as truth. Why? Because when tribulation does come, then it will leave a person with the impression that obedience is not worth the effort, or it can have a person feeling like God has written them off as 'evil' (as in Rom. 2:9) What is the truth?
Joh 16:33... These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world...
This is written in red in the New Testament. Jesus Himself said these words to His disciples. And again in Acts ... Act 14:22 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... The Bible plainly states that we will go through tribulations, trials, persecutions, and sufferings. We are not exempt just because we are obedient to God. However, we are to cling to His promise that we will be delivered, that we will go THROUGH and make it to the promised land.
What is the other mindset? It is the mindset that we are to sit and endure our trials and tribulations. We are to sit and allow the trials and tribulations to mature us and mold us into submission and surrender, even if we are suffering in poverty and sickness and painfulness and lack. This is simply not true. What does the Bible say? In John 16:33b, Jesus assures us that we can retain our joy because He has overcome, therefore we will overcome. We are not to sit and set up camp in our trials and tribulations. We are to go THROUGH because we understand that He will be there with the victory. This means when we find ourselves in the wilderness, we are to begin searching to God for the way OUT of the wilderness.
1Co 15:57 ... But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ... Victory does not accept the trials and the sufferings. Victory says to the trials and tribulations, "You cannot keep me here!". Victory knows that God is not the One responsible for our trials and tribulations, but He is the One responsible for our overcoming them. 1 Jn 5:4 says ... For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith... 2 Pe 2:9 says ... The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished...
So, we are not to think that we can get by on this earth without trials and tribulations coming our way. And we are not to think that we must sit and endure such trials and tribulations as the norm. We are not to accept our trials and tribulations as being of God. James 1:13 says ... And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else... We are to expect the trials and the tribulations and we are to expect God to get us through them with our faith intact and our lives all the better for having passed through them. Jesus, in His worst time of suffering, never took His eyes off the prize. He trusted God the Father throughout His ministry on this earth, and look where He is today.