In the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, there was one older soldier who fearlessly fought the
enemy while standing above the foxhole of another younger soldier paralyzed by fear. The first soldier told the second that you need to think of yourself as already dead for your fear of dying to go away. Only then will you be useful to your mission. For it is in the hard times that your faith being put to the test reveals God’s glory to the world.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. 11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the refiner of your faith, the righteous and vindicating judge, the God of all comfort, the eternal majestic, powerful, Lord, the returning king, the inspiration of your love and good deeds, the God of glory and grace. In me all of these attributes spell out for you the reason you can have hope, victory and comfort in the midst of the trials of this life as you serve others.
As my children, I have allowed all of the circumstances in your life which seem painful at present for a reason. I have counted you worthy of them and I will glorify myself in you through them. But one day soon I will come back and call into account everyone for the wicked deeds in their life by my righteous justice. So trust me with joy when I choose to let you experience hardships.
You ask why I don’t vindicate you now. It is so your faith can be counted worthy of my kingdom. Your faith needs to be refined in the fire of trials and persecution to be of value. Anyone can be a Christian when life is easy. Even Satan knows that fact when he requested permission of me to torture my faithful servant – Job. Rom 2:4 says that while in this life, there is still time for the unregenerate to respond to my mercy just as you have. But after their life is over, my Holy arraignment will begin, so don’t be in too much of a hurry for me to end this day of salvation for them.
Facts about hardships: God chooses who will experience them and when. They have multiple purposes in our lives. They always hurt and nobody likes them. They exercise our faith and make it pure. They separate genuine from false believers. They are used to make us walk by faith. God uses them to make us worthy of his kingdom. We will be rewarded for them if we accept them by faith. God glorifies himself best through our lives in them. We see God work on our behalf in the midst of them. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. If we fear them, hardships will render us useless to God; like the 10 Israelite spies came back with a very accurate report of the impossibility (humanly speaking) to take the land, but fear conquered them. Only the 2 saw God through the trial and were allowed to enter the land to conquer it (with Divine help).
More to come,