Being able to fellowship with other brother and sisters last Friday night at our weekly church gathering was one that impressed upon me more than usual and was quite encouraging. Studying from Romans 8 the later half of the chapter talks about what we have as to our security and more importantly our victory is Christ Jesus. Prior to this, the first half of chapter 8 hints at the fact that as believers we are as in verse 8:18 to ‘consider that sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us’. The conclusion from this nugget is that suffering/trials/temptations will be coming our way that will bend, stretch and test our faith. But what is one to do with this statement? The concept that suffering is confirmed in the lives of those who follow Christ Jesus as said in 2 Timothy 3:12 ‘Indeed, all those who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’. Sarcastically in my mind I am saying man…what a great study for this group. Some of the members in our group were new believers and we had just combined with an international student group, and I was going over my mind of what possibly could be running through their minds.
But God blew my mind open and I totally was encouraged by the things spoken.
With that question posed to the group after reading through chapter 8 was again that suffering as Christians is something that is promised in the bible and is clearly seen, and what is one to do? How are we to approach these trials that are to come?
Run? Some responded with comments on the line of, ‘how this concept of persecution and trials could be beneficial in life? running doesn’t sound like a bad idea’
One brother responded that really our lives as believers when we accept Christ were given a gift, a gift of Life that Jesus gave. Our lives are His. For us to run, we would be missing out on the amazing things God so wants us to learn of and mature in.
That got my brain moving…
For as it said earlier in Romans 5:3-5, More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.’ In the face of trials we should more so ask God to give us the strength to overcome and patience to go through, rather than asking Him to take it away. Even in the face of monumental strife and tribulation were we let our circumstances get the better of us, God is still there. ‘If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself’ 2 Timothy 2:13. Further comfort is found in Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose’. When we view our lives in a microscopic point of view it may see out of control and in complete chaos, but God who sees our lives in the greater scheme of things is in complete control.
Let us not allow our circumstances to guide and sway our faith in God. Let us exercise that same faith and security we profess in our salvation in God in every aspect of our lives big or small. For we know that God who is faithful will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with that temptation will provide a way of escape also, so that we will be able to endure it.
2 last passages:
Romans 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?…
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’