Saturday, June 14, 2008

More About Perseverance Through Trials

When difficulties arise, our tendency is to do everything that we can to get out of those situations. In many cases, though, God’s plan is for us to persevere through the trial so that His strength can be magnified in our weakness and so that we can grow in Christ-likeness. Our ability to persevere through trials is depends on our having a clear understanding of our identity in Christ and the resources that we have in Him. And often, we need to take time to be reminded of who we are in Christ and what we have in Him.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17

In the first few chapters of Ephesians, Paul describes our identity in Christ:

In Christ, we are chosen by God 1:4). We belong to Him. See also 1 Peter 2:9.

In Christ, we are adopted into God’s family (1:5). We are children of the Sovereign God of the universe.

In Christ, we are redeemed and our sins are forgiven (1:7). We are now free from sin and its penalty of death; we are free to live for Him.

In Christ, we are made alive (2:1). We have new life in Him.

In Christ, we are works of art, created to do good works (2:10).

In Colossians, Paul adds:

In Christ, we are complete (2:9-10).

This is just a small sampling of what the Bible says about our identity in Christ. These statements describe all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The Bible also describes the resources we have in Christ.

We have, for example:

Peace with God (Romans 5:1).

The mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

The presence and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; Galatians 5:22-23).

The power of Christ’s resurrection (Philippians 3:10).

The privilege of bringing our prayers to God (Hebrews 10:19-20).

In his 2nd letter, Peter tell us that,

In Christ, we have all things that pertain to life and godliness (1:3).

Knowing who we are in Christ and the resources available to us enables us to stand strong (in the strength of the Lord) in all trials. To recognize God’s working through the trials. To have the confidence that God is using the trial for our good and His glory.

To be honest, I am more than ready to be healed from this cancer. I am more than ready to end chemotherapy and to be rid of the side effects. I am more than ready to have this port removed from my chest. I am more than ready to be rid of these crutches and to walk on my own. I am more than ready to get back to the ministry that I love.

But I am willing to persevere through all of this as long as God wills. Because I know that He is sovereign. I know that in Christ I have eternal life and everything I need right now to live for Him. I know that God is using this cancer to magnify His greatness through my weakness. In know that God is using this to purify my heart and mind. I know that God is using this trial to draw others close to Himself.

Note. I know that I often repeat myself in these blogs. There are familiar themes that come up time and time again. Some of the repetitiveness is intentional. Some can be blamed on my age, the effects of chemotherapy, or both. I appreciate all of you who take time to read this blog and pray that you will be encouraged by what God is doing in my life and what He is teaching me. May God be glorified.

1 comment:

Henry Family Blessings said...

Sorry for interrupting but do you know any expert counselor or family blessings lecturer? I think with all the troubles my family is experiencing, we badly need either of the two. Thanks.