Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 4, 2021

When Hard Seeks To Slay Us

“I want you to know brothers, that what has happened to me (Paul) has really served to advance the gospel.”  Philippians 1:12 (ESV)

Doubt very seriously if we would ever hunt for challenges or difficulties.  We would much rather have ease and doable than face the unsurmountable trials life sometimes brings.  We like the simple life and all the comforts – problem free.

While this all sounds absolutely wonderful – it simply isn’t where we land.   No where in scripture does God promise us a carefree life.  In fact, quite the opposite is true – John 16:33 reminds us that suffering will be a part of our lives.

So, sweet friends, the real question is not will we suffer or experience trials.  The bottom line is what will we do in those hard places to bring glory to our God?

The apostle Paul sitting in a dark prison cell strategically chose to not waste his suffering.  Not for a moment did he consider giving up or turning his back on God.  Instead, he used those moments to encourage and strengthen the body of Christ. His ministry platform may have been changed by those who sought to kill him; however, His voice was never silenced. Prison guards knew Paul was imprisoned for his faith in God.  Other believers knew Paul was chained for the gospel and became bolder in speaking the truth without fear (Philippians 1:14).  What the enemy attempted to extinguish was flourishing.

What struggles are you facing today?  What suffering has characterized your life?

While I’ve never been imprisoned for my faith like Paul, I have struggled through tough moments in life.  Times when overwhelming losses got deeper and deeper.  Tear soaked days when all was lost and uncertainty loomed large.  You’ve probably experienced them too – suffering beyond our imagination. Yet right in the midst of hopelessness, our world is watching and listening to see if we really trust our God with our pain. Wondering if our faith is real.  Waiting to catch a glimpse of our response when life is hard.

Like Paul, we too can embrace suffering with our eyes zeroed not on our circumstances but on our God who will redeem all things for His glory.  Whatever we are facing has the potential to draw others closer to God.  When they see the reality of what we’re enduring yet our faith is unshakeable it stirs within them a desire to find out the source of our peace and strength.  When we press through hard places with our joy intact it speaks volumes to those around us. When we share how God is working in our impossible circumstances seeds are planted in the heart of those watching our story unfold.

Can’t think of a better way to advance the gospel then to flourish in His strength and share His glory in our hard places.

“Father, life can definitely be hard yet right in the midst of what seems to kill us, You are redeeming every moment for your glory.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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