This has been a difficult month in a lot of ways. A lot of changes have gone on this year with Adam changing full time jobs, losing his part time job, AJ starting high school at PCA and my business/speaking/writing changing drastically.
During hard times, it’s tempting to get so focused on your problems and issues and to start feeling that you don’t deserve these problems.
It’s tempting to start counting all the ways you are serving God and measuring that against the bad things that are happening.
It’s tempting to become discouraged, irritated and depressed and to start feeling entitled. Like you don’t deserve the bad things that are happening.
Yesterday in church, the message was the kind of reminder that hits you up side the head.
The passage that stood out to me was in 1 Thessalonians 3:3.
Here is what is says in the KJV “…no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.”
The NIV says this “…so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.”
Oh Paul. I love his writing because he always gets right to the point.
There is no beating around the bush.
No subtle hints.
No gently reminders.
He’s basically like. Um. Duh!
What did you think was going to happen?
Why would you be unsettled, shaken, disturbed or moved by these afflictions?
Don’t you remember? YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS, PEOPLE!
You were appointed for them.
You should know quite well that you are destined for them!
This was the plan all along.
Whoever is in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
We will suffer.
We should not be confused, surprised or shaken by this.
We need to expect it.
And if our foundation is solid, the way it should be.
If we are standing firm.
Secure in our relationship with a loving, powerful, trustworthy Father…
then we have nothing to worry about.
Nothing to be discouraged by.
Nothing to be depressed about.
Expect the trials, and in it, remember that God loves us.
That God sees. He hears and He knows.
Do we feel it sometimes? Of course not.
But can we still know it?
Our destiny is to be troubled on either side, but not in despair.
Do you see how this works? Our eyes are forward.
Not to the trouble on the left or the trouble on the right.
Not to the empty bank account, the broken relationship, the health issues that won’t go away, the loss, the change, the hurt.
We are looking forward. We are walking forward.
We are holding tightly to the hand of the one in front of us who is guiding and directing us through the trials. Through the struggles.
And we expect those trials to be there, but we don’t focus on them.
We focus on Jesus.
And then we keep going.
Are you struggling today?
Are you wondering why you are suffering?
It’s because it’s your destiny!!
It is what you were appointed for!
But don’t forget this…
Temporary. The struggles of this world are temporary, and we hold on to the hope that the rewards that are achieved through them far outweigh the struggles.
Hold on tight. Expect the trials, and remember that they are temporary.
You will get through. I promise.