Our Long Suffering Will Produce the Strength We Need

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put use to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 1-5)

We study, we ache. We watch and we suffer. These are what the final saints persevere. Those that came before us provided an example of how we must look at our pain and suffering.

This seems like an impossible task as we struggle between the trials of the day and the evil among the world. Our vision of His coming only complicates things as we struggle to remain focused on Him as the world darkens around us. We must struggle. We must persevere as we must remain the light in this dark world.

We all look at those that came before us and see them in their glory. The Disciples as they walked with Jesus, Moses as he parted the Red Sea, Noah as he built the ark, all of these great men were a shining light for our example.  We all see them in their glory but we do not focus on their suffering.  How did Moses suffer while he wandered for 40 years in the desert? How did the apostles suffer when they saw their Hope die and became the hunted?  The pain these men felt was equivalent to the light they shone.  There must be balance and as the Lord gives greatness, darkness also comes.

We understand this when we look at prophecy and the Apocalypse.  Everyone can see the darkness that unfolds and engulfs the world but the Church is taught that we will not be here to see it. But we are still here. Christians are being tormented every day for their faith, in one way or another, and their persecution is going to get stronger. We know this.

How do we remain strong among the darkness? How do we continue the fight when it seems like darkness is overcoming the world?

It’s easy to say that we must remain faithful and persevere. It’s easy to say but to do is the complete opposite. We falter and waver every time we are tempted. That is our society. We are foretold this in Scripture, that this generation stands for nothing and is neither not nor cold.

But we must remain strong. We must keep our eye on the prize, as it is the mother of all prizes. We will gain everything if we only stand and stand alone for our God.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6: 10-20)

 

Clinton Kowach

9/18/18

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