Do you know that feeling when it seems like the life has been pressed out of you? Maybe even now you are carrying a weight you can’t seem to escape.
Well, God has a word for you in Acts 14:21–22…
And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
Paul and Barnabas had been on their first missionary journey and they had won souls, established churches, and worked miracles. But they had also been maligned, violently assaulted, and opposed.
Notice how it was put. They strengthened the souls of the disciples and told them, “We must go through many tribulations,” not pitch a tent and dwell there perpetually.
You may be going through a hard season right now. You are not going to stay there, friend. You are going to get through!
First Thessalonians 3:1–5 talks about this as well, but shares an added warning that you need to understand to persevere through hard times…
Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before, when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.
When trouble comes, the tempter, Satan, is always right there to whisper in your ear, “God doesn’t care. God’s not good. In fact, God is cruel if He would allow something like this to happen.”
No, my friend, trials are part of the journey. And just because you are going through one does not mean that God is not with you and that He is not working on your behalf.
Take a look at 1 Peter 4:12 from The Message…
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.
Even if you were caught off guard by your troubles, God was not. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise, which is how He can make all things work together for your good.
No, the hard times you face are not permanent. Because if God brings you to a tough season, you can be sure He will bring you through it as well!
Remember, temporary hardships don’t have to keep you from expecting God’s best. You have certain promises of deliverance in God’s Word—so embrace them today!
In his message “Strength in Troubled Times,” Pastor Bayless explores in God’s Word the subject of suffering and gives you practical, biblical encouragement to help you remain fully focused on the assurances of Christ when troubles hit. Available on CD, DVD, and MP3.