When the going gets tough…

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As the world goes through a gloomy time, many are dreaming of returning to what we knew as a normal life. Our survival instincts are very positive, and usually focuses on the silver lining instead of the cloud that darkens our days. However, believers in the Lord base their hope on the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and His love for us, and not on circumstances.

The list of problems that plagues the world is long, and so many around us face personal issues on top of it—if not as a result of it—so that they see no light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. Unfortunately, a positive attitude is not enough to carry us through these dark days that we have entered—our hope must be based on real substance.

Looking at the bigger picture, we understand that there is more to it than the eye can see. What happens around us is the result of strings that are being pulled behind the scenes. Powerful men force their will on the world to bring it under their control and satisfy their greed. However, they are just puppets themselves, doing the will of their father, the devil.

The spiritual world is where the real action takes place. While satan is working through willing people to advance his dream of sitting on God’s throne (Isaiah 14:12-14), God is bringing the history of humanity as we know it to a close. He has the final say in all things, and stands by His own to protect, guide, and strengthen us. Do not be discouraged by what you see and hear around you!

New billionaires are made almost daily, but most people feel the pressure of skyrocketing prices on the necessities of life, causing some to question God, as Asaph, the psalmist, once did:

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.  For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men. Psalm 73:2-5

Looking at the unfairness that is in the world can be detrimental to your faith. Life is unfair. Despite the world’s hypocritical fanaticism with equality, it doesn’t actually exist, and it will hurt you at some point in your life. But remember, we have an Intercessor who understands all too well what we are going through. Nothing about Jesus’ life on earth was fair: His trial was a miscarriage of justice, and His death on the cross was nothing but premeditated murder. He knows!

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Jesus always makes intercession for you! He prays for you as you go through the toughest of battles, all the while extending grace to you in your weakest moments. Paul found that out when he brought his struggle to the Lord, and was told that His grace was enough for him. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) And not only that, he also discovered that when he was weak, he was actually strong. God’s grace is powerful even when you feel weak!

Peter, the one who often spoke and acted without thinking things through, was about to go through the test of his life—his beloved Master’s trial and death on the cross. He did not see it coming, but Jesus did, and prayed for him:

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:31-33

The trouble that you endure is the devil trying to sift you, to see if your faith is strong enough to see you trough. Don’t forget this: your faith in God is the devil’s target; he knows that it is the shield that stops his darts from reaching you. If he can remove that shield, he will be able to destroy you. Thank God, Jesus is interceding for us, not only when we go through the fire, but even before it happens!

The Lord knows why you are here, and that you have an assignment to fulfill in and for the very time that you live in. That is one reason why you can trust Him to take care of you. Your life is valuable to Him, not only because of what is stored up inside of you, but also because of the price that He paid for you. If you take care of His business, He will take care of you. (Matthew 6:33) God did not put you on the earth at this crucial time to survive and die; no, you are here for a reason and a purpose!

It is easy to get discouraged when you look in the wrong direction, but when your eyes are fixed on your calling, you are infused with divine energy and an anointing from on high to do more than you can in the natural. This is the ideal time to expect wonders and miracles! God shows His mighty hand when all seems lost, and you have nowhere to go but Him.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but t those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

Don’t wait for the prominent, or those who are perceived as leaders, to call on you, or give you permission to do what God has placed on your heart. That is not how God works! Your Bible tells the stories of people who God used to do mighty works for Him. Not a single one of them was qualified, or enjoyed support from the people. He is looking for those who have a heart for Him, and are willing to step out limping while leaning heavily on Him. Until you do this, you will never know what God can do through you; He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world! (1 John 4:4)

We know what is coming because Scripture informed us. We know how it will end, so we don’t have to be despondent like the world. Listen to what Jesus said about this time:

Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28

Be bolder than before; speak as if it is your last opportunity to touch a life. How people receive your message is not your responsibility—only do what you are called to do. Make that call, visit that person that has no hope. Use your social media account to spread the gospel, to encourage, to inspire, to influence—the internet is a mission field that is ready to be reaped. Forward this letter to your friends and family who can benefit by it.

Let us labour for the Master
From the dawn till setting sun
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care
Then, when all of life is over
And our work on earth is done
And the roll is called up yonder we’ll be there
~James Black – 1893

Let’s do it!

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