For the true believer it is peace and tranquility that are fleeting not trials and persecution. I know full well in a nation such as this, wherein the notion of suffering for the cause of Christ is as alien as molecular biology is to a kitten, it’s difficult to wrap our minds around the notion that hardships, trials, and tribulations for the believer are inevitable, and a normal part of their existence.
‘In the world you will have trouble!’ These were the words of Jesus, and their brevity is astounding. He did not attempt to soften the blow, or encourage those who heard Him by adding caveats, or saying that only a handful will have trouble, He meant what He said when He said it, and it holds true to this day.
If we are sons and daughters of the Most High God, if we follow after the precepts of His word, if He is first in our lives and His will is our command, then trouble for us is inevitable. The reason for this is a simple one: the sons and daughters of light will always be at odds with the sons and daughters of darkness, and as long as we are here, we are a thorn in the enemy’s side that he will go to great lengths to remove.
Although no one got a waiver or an exemption from having trouble in this world, Jesus did tell us to take heart, not because we might not have as much trouble as some do, or because it would be an easy proposition for us to endure, but because He overcame the world. Because He overcame the world, we know that by His strength we too will overcome. No matter the trouble, no matter the hardship, we know that with Christ, in Christ, and through Christ we will overcome, and be all the stronger and spiritually mature for it.
We all envy the relationships the great men of God had with Him, wherein He would speak to them audibly, direct them, guide them, and open their eyes to the spiritual realm, but very few of us would be willing to endure, to suffer, and to go through some of the trials they went through in order to achieve such a remarkable relationship.
We want the experience with God, but very few are willing to pay the price in order to have the experience.
Nothing worth having comes easily, and nothing worth having comes for free. This is the reality anyone who has been alive longer than a handful of years has come to understand as a universal truth.
One must be willing to pay the price in order to attain the sort of relationship one such as Moses, or Elijah, or Jeremiah had with God. If we think that somehow God has lowered the bar, or the testing through which one who aspires to closeness with God must go through has become less strict over the centuries, we are deceiving ourselves to the utmost.
There is not one man of God whether in the Bible or in our modern day who having a deep and intimate relationship with Him, has not, first and foremost, gone through the threshing and the sifting. In His love God refines us, in His love God purifies us, in His love God burns away every last remnant of dross and flesh and self that He may reign supreme.
Not everyone goes through the same trial. Trials take on various forms, hence the reason Peter encourages those to whom he was writing, telling them that though now they go through ‘various trials’ they ought not lose heart, nor lose sight of the reason for the trials through which they are going.
The trials I’m going through may not be similar to the trials you’re going through, and the trials you are going through may not be similar to the trials someone else is going through, but they are, nevertheless trials.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.