January is almost over. I’ve not decided exactly how I feel about that. On the one hand, my ‘break’ is coming to an end and I can finally start off with what the rest of 2014 holds (all the planning can finally start coming together) and that’s a good thing, but on the other hand, I’ll have to get out of my comfort zone and basically start from scratch with a lot of things… Ouch! I mentioned before that I took January off work but it hasn’t exactly being a lazy month. I’m moving on to a new phase of my life that has me both excited and scared and I wanted a ‘chill period’ in between. Surprisingly, I’ve been quite busy but I’ve loved (almost) every minute of it.
You know how at the beginning of the year a lot of people spend time with God getting direction for the year ahead, some take a fast and what not. Well, I’m one of those who is super excited about all that my Abba has promised me in 2014. I generally try not to get too excited about things so if it doesn’t work out, I don’t get disappointed. With 2014 however, I can’t help myself. I’m super psyched to see these promises come to pass.
A few days ago, I ‘accidentally’ found myself in a meeting and the teacher was talking about the need for perseverance. Now, that’s one message a lot of Christians these days do not want to hear. We like the ‘feel-good’ messages, and the slap-happy ‘easy-believism’. And yes, God has promised us a lot of good and perfect things but we refuse to see that these often come with trials.
Psalm 105 16-22 “16 He called for a famine on the land of Canaan,
cutting off its food supply. 17 Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them—
Joseph, who was sold as a slave. 18 They bruised his feet with fetters
and placed his neck in an iron collar. 19 Until the time came to fulfil his dreams,
the LORD tested Joseph’s character. 20 Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free;
the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. 21 Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household;
he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. 22 He could instruct the king’s aides as he pleased
and teach the king’s advisers.”
Joseph had been given a dream (a promise) of greatness. God had shown him a beautiful picture of the future. But the process sure didn’t look beautiful. Look at verse 19, it was the Lord who tested Joseph’s character until the time for the fulfilment came. King James Version puts it this way: “Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.”
It is true that the Lord has promised you wonderful things but be rest assured that promise will attract problems. The journey between where you are now and the fulfilment of that promise will not be without problems. The fact that God promised a thing doesn’t guarantee smooth sail to the final destination. There will be nights, but morning WILL come. These challenges are there to build character in you. “To your faith, add patience”. Your faith is incomplete without endurance. Let it do it’s work!
James 1:2-4 “2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Most of the time when these trials come, we want to pray our way out of it as quickly as possible. When that doesn’t seem to be working, our faith starts to waiver. We begin to question the things that God has said to us. We become unsure and allow depression kick in. One translation of James 1:4 says, “don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do it’s work…” Don’t be quick to say God has abandoned you. Let the challenge do it’s work!
As you patiently (and joyfully) go through these not so pleasant experiences, remember that God hasn’t abandoned you.
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”(NLT)
“Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.” (THE MESSAGE)
Habakkuk 2:3 “3 This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.”
So maybe you’re still basking in the euphoria of His promises, excited and eagerly anticipating, or maybe you’ve already come down from the ‘high’ and you’re already being knocked about on every side… Be encouraged. You’re a prisoner of His promise. At the appointed time, it will show forth. ENJOY the process.
2Peter 1:5-8 “5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Okay, sermon over *phew*. Lol! Pastors try o. We hear these things all the time though, why is it so easy for us to forget when the trials come?! No more, Amen? Hehe.
Peace & light,
P.S. If you have any specific requests for 2014 (or whatever) and you’d like someone to join faith with you in prayer, I’d love to. Please leave a comment here or send me an email.