There are three types of people in this world:
1. Those going into a storm.
2. Those already in a storm.
3. Those coming out of a storm.
We have all gone through our share of problems, and no one is exempt from their share of pain or hurt. Some believed that once they accepted Christ they would be stress free, but I believe that’s when some problems actually began for many. Not because God hates people, but times when we have nowhere to run to, we know to look up to Jesus (Psalms 121). Sometimes God allows us to be knocked to our knees. Not to break us, but to give us a reason to start praying again. We all believe we are strong until circumstances come to challenge us, but we have strength in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:5-10).
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (Psalms 34:19)
One of the most frustrating things is to experience hard times when you are living right. I don’t mean the “modern Christianity” living right. I mean you pray, fast, give, love people and you can’t even pay your bills. When you treat everyone nice and people still gossip and slander you. When you’re a virgin and ridiculed about it, even among other “Christians”. When you only have a few outfits and people that are consistently sinning and insulting God have all the clothes in the world. When you seek God and can only put $10 in your car for gas and there are others who are atheists and yet their tanks are full and they get the most promotions!
Let me introduce you to David! He said he almost backslid when he observed how wicked men were prospering (Psalms 73:1-16). We often say “God satisfies”, but there is a strong possibility that many of us have been discouraged in our hard times.
– It’s not good to envy wicked men (Proverbs 24:19), because you’ll start to think blessings are material things.
– People are millionaires but are going to Hell for not following Christ. You may not have much money, but eternal life is worth it all.
– God doesn’t make everyone rich in finances, so don’t seek that. Seek God’s kingdom.
Many have been hurt, raped, abused, mistreated, stolen from, lied on, ridiculed, mocked, rejected, etc. Some of these people have been hurt by people in the church. Don’t let a bad experience with church people cause you to turn away from God. You are following Christ, not them. Many people simply tend to give up when times get hard, but you must know that God is always in control.
Job was a righteous, Man of God. The devil could not even touch him because God protected him. God told the devil he will remove the hedge so he can do whatever he want, just don’t touch him. God ALLOWED the devil to kill what Job loved: his children, his servants and even his cattle. Understand what just happened. The things that Job loved were taken away because he lived a holy life and God wanted to use him. Many of us would have left church if we were doing everything right and still circumstances grew worse. However, Job didn’t curse God and after his period of testing, God gave him double for his trouble (Job 42:10).
– Many of us believe that even though God is sovereign, we deserve to run the show. God doesn’t move out of our anxiety, He works on faith.
– Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead and his body was rotting before He came to deliver Lazarus. He didn’t rush because of Mary or Martha, He had a plan that human minds didn’t understand. The custom of the time was that the spirit of the person roamed around trying to come back into the person for three days. If the person didn’t come alive by the fourth day, then the Jews would say that they are dead. Jesus waited until everyone gave up hope before He worked the miracle. God doesn’t make you struggle to make a fool of you, everything He does brings glory to His name and souls to Christ. Many Jews turned to Christ after they saw Him raise Lazarus.
Everything you have been through has a purpose. No one can say you “deserved” to be raped, abused, mistreated, etc., but someone else will go through it and your testimony will be their deliverance. I have went through many obstacles and when I share it with some they are encouraged and are able to be delivered themselves. Don’t breakdown, God wants you to breakthrough. No one can obtain the promises of God without going through the process. God uses affliction to build our character and our spirit, don’t think it’s meant to destroy you. If you endure, there is a blessing waiting on you.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. (Joel 2:25)