In the book of James, chapter 1, James mentions that we are to count it all a joy when we face trials and tribulations. So, how many of us actually rejoice? Not many I would guess. However, in the below message, Dr. Charles Stanley shares with us how we can have assurance in these trials. With a better understanding of God’s presence, we gain a better understanding how we can rejoice in these difficult circumstances.
We all experience hardship, and trials can shake us unless we cling to truth. Let me share three assurances to remember when troublesome circumstances arise.
First, God will always meet our needs. This doesn’t mean He provides everything we want. Instead, the Lord will bless us with all that is necessary to fulfill His purpose for our lives. His goal is to sanctify us, not simply to satisfy each immediate desire.
Second, we’re never alone. God promised to be with us always (Hebrews. 13,5). Loneliness often accompanies hardship, so we may feel deserted or opposed by family and friends. But our Father has sent His Spirit to be with us and in us, until the day He brings us to heaven (John 14.16-17). He is all we need–our advocate, guide, helper, and comforter. Recognizing His intimate presence gives us confidence in the midst of trials.
Third, God’s love is eternal. Regardless of our circumstances or poor decisions, His care is unconditional–even when He reprimands us. Loving parents allow disobedient children to experience the consequences of wrong choices; they recognize the benefit of learning from mistakes. Of course, there are also times when we are negatively affected by others’ wrong actions. Even then, God is sovereign and allows only what will bring good in His followers’ lives.
In difficult times, we can remember that God will meet all of our needs, is always with us, and loves us forever. Though Jesus said we would face troubles in this life, He offered encouragement: The ultimate victory is His. So keep in mind that trials are fleeting, whereas our Father’s love is forever.
Romans 8.31-39, ESV 2011
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.10 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
|27 Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven. 2 Chronicles 30.27
Prayer is the never-failing response of the Christian in any case, in every plight. When you cannot use your sword, you may take up the weapon of prayer. Your powder may be damp, your bowstring may be relaxed, but the weapon of prayer need never be out of order. Satan laughs at the javelin, but he trembles at prayer. Swords and spears need to be sharpened, but prayer never rusts; and when we think it most blunt, it cuts the best. Prayer is an open door that no one can shut. Devils may surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy’s hand.
We can never be taken by siege or invasion as long as heavenly help can come down to us and relieve us in the time of our necessities. Prayer is never out of season: In summer and in winter its merchandise is precious. Prayer gains audience with heaven in the dead of night, in the middle of business, in the heat of noonday, in the shades of evening. In every condition, whether poverty or sickness or obscurity or slander or doubt, your covenant God will welcome your prayer and answer it from His holy place.
And prayer is never futile. True prayer is always true power. You may not always get what you ask, but you shall always have your real needs supplied. When God does not answer His children according to the letter, He does so according to the spirit. If you ask for cornmeal, will you be angry because He gives you fine flour? If you seek physical health, should you complain if instead He makes your sickness result in your spiritual health? Is it not better to have the cross sanctified than removed? This evening, my soul, do not forget to offer your petition and request, for the Lord is ready to grant your desires.