Struggling Through To Victory

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ray-gano-medRomans 5 :1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 and patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Last week I wrote a pretty dark article. The title was Persecution is Not Coming, Persecution is Already Here

I got a lot of positive responses from this and many people agreed.

Like it or not hard times are coming.

What sets us apart is how we respond and act during these times of trials and tribulations.

In today’s results driven world we may tend to equate hard times with not being good Christians. Admitting, we sometimes become confused in our faith in Christ.

Often times when we are in the valley of despair we often ask God “why me?” or “what did I do to be punished?”

This is something that is natural and it happens to all of us.

In fact it happened to me here recently.

I was doing a radio show on a secular station in the US. I was getting $500 a month for the show. Just this past month we had a falling out and I was getting pulled into the station politics and operations and all of a sudden expectations changed, expectations that I did not agree to. There was this new station manager or something like that brought on and we did not see eye to eye on many things. Well long story short we could not come to an agreement and I lost $500.00 a month.

This is something that has been stressing me and I kept asking God “WHY?” Why me? Why give this position to me and then take it away? Heaven knows we need the money.

These past few weeks God has been pointing things out to me and I kind of understand why. Not that I like it, but I am understanding.

I am reminded of the following verse…

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

salvationNow “temptations” here is not temptations of the enemy or of sin. These things are not matters of joy. What these “temptations” consists of are grief, the fiery darts hurled at us by the enemy. These cause a lot of trouble, uneasiness, trials, etc.

What will be our response in these events? The bible does not say that just because we are going through these trials that we lack faith. In fact, just look at David who was a man after God’s own heart.

Here is what David said in the Psalms…

Psalms 6:2 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.

3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?

Psalms 6:6-7 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.

7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

Here we see David in real pain. This is pain that probably all of us can understand. All of us have had life wrenching pain at one time or another.

God knows we hurt and He wants to be there for us. He does not mind us asking “WHY ME?”

What God wants from us is to ask Him for help and lean on Him instead of “leaning on our own understanding.”

With the radio show job I lost, I kept asking “WHY ME?” “ God, you dangle a carrot before me, let me eat it for a bit and now take it away…Why?”

Through life’s trials and tribulations God has always provided a way.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

What God wants us to do is to rely on Him.

Looking back at David we read…

Psalms 6:8-9 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.

9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.

Here we see the proper response, God hears our prayers, He hears our crying and sees our tears. “The Lord will receive my prayer.”

Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Lean on Him, not on our own selves.

I look at all the psycho-babble that Joel Osteen and Rick Warren teaches.

sm 13 11 osteenIt is so empty. “Your best life now”… “Your Purpose Driven Life”

These are empty ideas and are based on the results of men, not of God.

We are coming into a time of great hardship. Hardship our generation or our children’s generation has never seen or experienced before.

It is how we respond to this hardship that will set us apart.

God’s Word teaches that we are to have a positive attitude from a biblical perspective, not this shallow “best life now” mumbo jumbo garbage.

God’s Word does not deny reality. It clearly states problems we will have, and it acknowledges the suffering.

But the solution is not found in man’s psycho-babble. Our solution is found in the power, mercy and grace of our Lord.

If you are a child of God, you clearly understand that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

But to complain without expressing trust in God DOES indicate a lack of faith.

Understand also that we are not to be “the captain of our own ship” either. Relying on our “own understanding” is folly.

We see all these really cool sayings talking about our own mental strength and the positive affirmations we give ourselves.

This too indicates a lack of faith in God.

We need to start learning now how to “lean not on our own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

We need to learn to start letting God know that we hurt and that we are going through hard times.

We are not to blame Him for these trials, but ask Him for help through these trials.

We need to start learning and applying this in our lives NOW. We cannot wait any longer to apply these in our lives later.

Time is short.

Here is a great devotion by Oswald Chambers titled “The Faith to Persevere.”

The Faith to Persevere – Oswald Chambers

Because you have kept My command to persevere . . . — Revelation 3:10

Perseverance means more than endurance— more than simply holding on until the end. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in a while the saint says, “I can’t take any more.” Yet God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly. Entrust yourself to God’s hands. Is there something in your life for which you need perseverance right now? Maintain your intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through the perseverance of faith. Proclaim as Job did, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).

Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him. Disaster occurs in your life when you lack the mental composure that comes from establishing yourself on the eternal truth that God is holy love. Faith is the supreme effort of your life— throwing yourself with abandon and total confidence upon God.

God ventured His all in Jesus Christ to save us, and now He wants us to venture our all with total abandoned confidence in Him. There are areas in our lives where that faith has not worked in us as yet— places still untouched by the life of God. There were none of those places in Jesus Christ’s life, and there are to be none in ours. Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, that they may know You . . .” (John 17:3). The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we will take this view, life will become one great romance— a glorious opportunity of seeing wonderful things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.

I recently got an email from someone saying that I spend to much time on world events and not enough on bible prophecy.

Folks, we are here now.

Bible prophecy is all around us. We are living in it with it at this very moment. This is why I present a lot of current events, because they are bible prophecy coming to pass right before our eyes.

Listen, I am going to be blunt here. Either we ARE the final generation or we ARE NOT.

There is no fence sitting like so many people like to do or teach. “oh, just wait and see.”

repentant-manHorse hockey!

IF we are the final generation, then we need to get with the program and “cowboy up.”

We need to stop feeding on the milk toast and start applying God’s Word to our lives.

All of us are seasoned watchmen and we should already know Matthew 24, Luke 21, Revelation, Isaiah,etc, etc, already.

The scriptures point to the fact that we are here now. We are living in it. We also need to understand that during the last days times will be hard. Wars, famines, pestilence, disease, natural disasters and the list goes on.

We know this.

God is our Heavenly father. He wants to be there to help us and in fact He promises that His grace is sufficient for us to see us through anything that this world has to throw at us.

We may not like it and it may be painful. But by God’s Grace and the body of Christ sticking together through the hard times, I believe that the odds are a lot better in weathering these storms.

How? By just trusting and obeying, by leaning not on our own understanding, keeping each other in prayer, encouraging one another and admonishing each other with God’s Word.

We are not called to be Lone Rangers, we are called to be the body of Christ.

We need to remember that it is not who we elect, or laws we make or things we do of our own accord that will make the difference.

What will make the difference is the Power of God working through the hearts of each and every one of us. Those of us who claim to be children of God, blood bought souls, true bible believing Christians the world over.

This is how we will struggle to victory.

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

 

ray-gano-med

By Ray Gano

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