Going through adversity
Text: Proverbs 24: 10; 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 3:3, “Not that the troubles should come as any surprise to you. You’ve always known that we’re in for this kind of thing. It’s part of our calling” (MSG).
The furnace of adversity and difficult times is a place where our faith in God is sorely tested. To say the truth, the furnace experience is not an easy one, but God’s grace is more than sufficient to see you through. After the rain comes shine. The Holy Spirit is always there to be your worthy companion, when you go through tough times.
In the process of God moulding and transforming you, you must have passed through many hands, many experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, but at the end of it all, the beauty of Jesus is reflected in you.
As I look at the Church today, I see wounded pilgrims, those wounded because of their personal mistakes, sin and offences caused by another brother. I see people going through the darkest period of their sojourn on earth and contemplating giving up. I see people who work 24 hours, yet have nothing to show for it. May be your life can be described like that of Peter (Luke 5), who toiled all through the night for catch of fishes, yet he couldn’t have any. Peter was already hanging up his net because of the great failure, but Jesus stepped in and said to him in Luke 5:4, don’t hang up the net yet, but launch into the deep. Peter had a big catch of fishes and his net could not carry the fishes, when he obeyed Jesus’ voice.
Are you about giving up? I say to you, “Don’t hang up, launch into the deep.” Jesus was very honest to foretell us that our Christian journey shall be greeted with adversity and hard times at one point or another in life. Jesus said in John 16: 33, “I have told you all this, so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Psalms 34:19 (NLT), “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.” Christianity is not a bed of roses. Life is sometimes not fair, but Jesus has guaranteed that we shall be victorious at the end of the day. That is very encouraging, since you already know that your end shall be greater.
Fruit of the Holy Spirit, particularly joy, peace and patience, as contained in Galatians 5: 22, will help you overcome life crisis. Most times, you go through difficult times because of your personal mistakes and sins, though that is not true in all cases. In John 9, Jesus disciples asked Him concerning the man that was born blind, saying “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered them saying, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
In Joshua Chapter 6, the sin of Achan brought judgment upon the children of Israel and they lost in the battle between them and Ai. Achan had to be killed, so that the Israelites can move forward.
But the most important thing is that at whatever point in time, make sure you are at peace with Jesus. Repent from your sin, where necessary, so that you can be sure that you are not being dealt with because of your sin.
It is not God’s intention that the furnace of affliction burns you to death, but to refine you to become a better and stronger child of God. When you are going through the refiner’s furnace, it may be hot, it may not be fun, and you may wonder if you are going to survive, but you will not be burnt.
God’s intention is that trials will not destroy you, but make you better vessels in His hands.
Today’s Nugget: The furnace of adversity and difficult times is a place where our faith in God is sorely tested.
Prayer: Lord, help me to stand firm for you during hard times and come out victorious in Jesus Name, Amen.
Prayer line: Send text only to 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent Assemblies of God Nigeria.
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